Nigeria President suspends national team

July 1, 2010

The President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has suspended the national football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Nigeria finished bottom of Group B with just one point, losing to Argentina and Greece, and drawing with South Korea, and special Presidential advisor Ima NIboro has told reporters the decision will “enable Nigeria to reorganise its football”.

There are also reports that the Nigerian Football Federation is to be dissolved, with an interim board replacing it.

Niboro said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraws from international competition for two years to enable the country to put its house in order.

“This directive became necessary following Nigeria’s poor performance in the ongoing World Cup.”

However, under FIFA rules, any government interference with the national team is strictly forbidden, and so the decision taken by President Jonathan may not be so straight forward.

FIFA has released a statement reading: “At the time of writing, we have no official information on this matter. However, in general, FIFA’s position regarding political interference in football is well known. Our statutes do not allow for any political interference.”