Nigeria Football Federation suspended by Fifa

The sanction has been put in place after the NFF was voted out of office, while all teams at club and international level are not able to compete during the ban
Fifa has suspended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on grounds of “government interference”.

The NFF was voted out of office on Saturday after being accused of mis-managing the nation’s World Cup campaign.

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Nigeria’s government have appointed a sole administrator for the NFF despite Fifa’s warning of a potential suspension if the old leadership power was not restored.

The decision to change leadership was made after a Nigerian High Court in Jos had granted an order of interlocutory injunction to suspend elected NFF president Aminu Maigari, his executive committee and the NFF congress.

Maigari was also arrested upon his arrival from the World Cup but later released.

The suspension means that no side from Nigeria of any sort [including clubs] can take part in international competition. During the ban, the NFF “may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches”.

Fifa state that the sanction will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn.

Statement from Fifa in full:

The FIFA Emergency Committee has decided today, 9 July 2014, to suspend the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with immediate effect, on account of government interference. Article 13, par. 1 and article 17, par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes oblige member associations to manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties.

The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on 4 July 2014, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The said court order compelled the Nigerian Minister of Sports to appoint a senior member of the civil service to manage the NFF until the matter was heard in court, without giving any date for such a hearing. The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on 5 July 2014. This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes.

Originally, an elective congress had been planned by the NFF to take place on 26 August 2014.

The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs.

As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact (art. 14 par. 3 of the FIFA Statutes). During the period of suspension, the NFF may not be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, or in friendly matches. The most immediate effect is that Nigeria will not be entitled to participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (5-24 August 2014) should the suspension not be lifted by 15 July 2014.

In addition, neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials may benefit from any FIFA or CAF development programmes, courses or training during the suspension period.