FIFA has taken the extreme measure of immediately suspending the Nigeria Football Federation for government interference following the arrest of the NFF's president. As a result of the ban, no team from Nigeria can compete internationally, even at the club level. If the ban is not lifted by July 15, this will prevent Nigeria from competing in the upcoming U-20 Women's World Cup.
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The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their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.
Nigeria removed federation leaders from office and arrested NFF President Aminu Maigari after the team returned from reaching the round of 16 at the World Cup. This followed an embarrassing incident in Brazil where the players refused to train over well-founded concerns that they wouldn't receive their bonuses for reaching the knockout stage.
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Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan also drew attention from FIFA when he threatened to shut down the federation for two years after finishing last in their group at the 2010 World Cup. France was also threatened with a FIFA ban that year.
However, FIFA did ban the Cameroon federation for government interference a year ago this month. The ban was lifted once FIFA's demands were met after a few weeks.
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