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Two-year absence for African side...

Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan has withdrawn the Super Eagles from international competition until 2012 following their disappointing performance at World Cup 2010.

The Super Eagles finished bottom of Group B at the tournament after drawing with South Korea and losing to Argentina and Greece. Lars Lagerback's side had been expected to fight to make the second round, but they fell far short of that target.

Speaking to reporters, Ima Niboro - a special adviser to the country's leader - confirmed the two-year withdrawal which would allow a restructuring of the national set-up.

"Mr President has directed that Nigeria will withdraw from all international football competition for the next two years to enable Nigeria to reorganise its football," Niboro said.

"This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing FIFA World Cup."

FIFA said in a statement: "We have no official information on this matter. However, in general, FIFA's position regarding political interference in football is well known."

The ban will prevent Nigeria from partaking in qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

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