Nigeria heading for FIFA ban over interference – Gerald Imray/AP

July 6, 2014


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Nigeria is not backing down after sacking its entire national football federation leadership, ignoring a FIFA directive and risking a ban from internationals for the reigning African champion.

A weekend meeting of football and government officials in the Nigerian capital Abuja endorsed the earlier sacking of Nigeria Football Federation President Aminu Maigari and his executive committee for not solving a player payment dispute during the World Cup. Officials said in a statement Sunday they were planning new elections.

The NFF is now being led by an official appointed by the sports minister.

World body FIFA, which doesn’t allow governments to interfere in football affairs, said it would not recognize Saturday’s meeting and has given Nigeria until Tuesday to reinstate Maigari or face sanctions. That would likely involve banning the country’s national team and clubs from playing in continental or international tournaments.

That could leave players like Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel and Liverpool’s Victor Moses frozen out of next year’s African Cup in Morocco, where Nigeria is due to defend its title.

Maigari was also arrested on his return from the World Cup in Brazil.

 Delegates at the emergency meeting said they blamed him for embarrassing Nigeria at the tournament by not resolving the bonus dispute. Nigeria reached the second round for the first time since 1998 but had its campaign marred by the payment dispute, where players rebelled against the federation after not receiving their money for making the last 16 of the showcase.

A statement from the meeting said Maigari’s NFF had failed to “fully and firmly resolve issues of finance with the Super Eagles ahead of the championship.”

The officials also said they want an investigation into the finances of the NFF under Maigari.

The temporary NFF administration said Sunday that the meeting endorsing his firing was valid, opposing the stance of FIFA, which said the congress had no authority.

“Don’t forget that in as much as we respect FIFA’s law, we cannot jettison our own law here,” said Obinna Ogba, a delegate at the congress.


SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014.  9:55 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “Nigeria heading for FIFA ban over interference – Gerald Imray/AP”

  1. Fatai F Bakare Says:

    Inasmuch as FIFA is the lord of football in the world with the power to interfere with the internal workings of respective football nations, there will not be freedom to respective FA’s of nations. I feel this power is just too much. It leaves individual countries at the mercy of FIFA for ineptitude, corruption, maladministration and insolence or what have you. This fiat power of FIFA to sack FA’s of nations at the slightest chance has to be moderated or removed. After all world bodies like the United Nations do not have that kind of almighty power without such threats passing through debates at the UN.

    FIFA must be made to respect internal laws on sports of member nations. I suggest that nations with like minds to come together and form their own FIFA to be organizing parallel football competitions in the world. Somebody has to call the excesses of FIFA to order.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks for this.

      If FIFA is a country and ranked by Transparency International the way countries are ranked on corruption index, it would most likely beat Nigeria – hands down – for the gold medal. Needless to recap its many past iniquities here.

      I was surprised to read the essay because the whole world saw what mess the officials made of Nigerian players’ allowances while packing their rank with those who should and those who should not have been there. And with the country trying to restore a measure of sanity to the administration, FIFA bares its ugly and corrupt fangs because Nigeria’s football administrations in the past have been meddled into by the same world body that aided and abetted corruption.




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