FIFA sends ultimatum to Nigerian Government

July 5, 2010

Football’s governing body, FIFA, has demanded that the Nigerian Government withdraws its ban on the national team playing any international football for the next two years by this evening.

Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has imposed the ban after the team’s poor performance at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa, but under strict FIFA rules, any interference in footballing matters from a country’s government is not allowed.

FIFA stated on Friday that it would give the Nigerian Government until Monday (today) to reverse the ban, or face an even lengthier one.

Yesterday it was revealed that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had fired its president, Sani LuLu, and vice-president, Amanze Ugbulam, as well as a member of the Federation’s technical committee in a bid to overturn the ban.

In a NFF statement it said executive committee members “passionately appeal to the president…to reconsider the earlier action of government to withdraw all the national football teams from CAF (Confederation of African Football)/FIFA competitions for two years.”

FIFA Secretary, Jerome Valcke, said the ban threatened the whole set-up of international football. “If the Government of Nigeria do not back down, we will suspend Nigeria and the decision will be taken in the next 48 hours. We have been severe with France, why would we not be toward Nigeria?

“We have 208 members and and if one of them goes against our constitution and the system, then the whole footballing pyramid is in danger.”