Nigeria suspended by FIFA over government interference

Wed Jul 9, 2014 2:06pm EDT

The logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA is seen on its headquarters in Zurich October 3, 2013.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The logo of soccer's international governing body FIFA is seen on its headquarters in Zurich October 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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Nigeria was suspended from international football on Wednesday because of government interference, FIFA said in a statement.

World soccer's ruling body sent a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation (FFF) last week expressing its concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings preventing its President from running the African country's soccer affairs.

"As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have any international sporting contact," FIFA said.

"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."

FIFA said the 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 the hearing.

The authorities then appointed a person who decided to convene an extraordinary general assembly on July 5, FIFA said.

"This extraordinary general assembly was convened in violation of the NFF statutes," added FIFA.

"The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their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

Nigeria, the African champions, reached the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil before losing 2-0 to France.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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