Nigeria get self-exclusion

Nigeria president bans national side from international competition

Last updated: 30th June 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Nigeria get self-exclusion

Jonathan: Suspended national side

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Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the national side from international competition for the next two years.

The drastic action comes following his country's poor showing in South Africa, where Nigeria were knocked out in the group stage.

Lars Lagerback's side finished bottom of Group B, with just a solitary point from a draw with South Korea and defeats to Argentina and Greece.

Ima Niboro, a special adviser to the president, said: "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.

Necessary

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

But the Nigerian president is sure to find himself in hot water with Fifa as world football's governing body always strongly opposes political interference in the sport.

This has been seen most recently with Fifa president Sepp Blatter warning France's government not to interfere with the affairs of the French Football Federation following the team's disastrous World Cup.

In previous cases, Fifa have suspended a national association where governments have intervened in the running of the game.

Regarding the Nigeria situation, 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."