Sunday, July 6, 2014

World Cup - Nigerian federation voted out of office as FIFA ban looms

An extraordinary general assembly of the federation went ahead in
Abuja on Saturday despite FIFA's warning of a possible suspension for
the African nation if it did not restore the old leadership to power.

A regional high court had earlier this week ordered the dismissal of
the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) executive, just over a day
after the Super Eagles were eliminated from the World Cup by France in
the last-16 on Monday.

The court also mandated the sports minister to appoint a caretaker
administrator, who swiftly called new elections.
NFF president Aminu Maigari was also detained by police on Friday on
his arrival back from Brazil but later released.

FIFA said on Friday that if the NFF leadership were not restored to
their posts by next Tuesday the country could be suspended from all
international football activities.

It warned against outside interference in the running of its member
But Saturday's assembly endorsed the sacking of Maigari and his
executive and the termination of the employment of all management
staff at the NFF.

"The Congress bemoaned the unfortunate incident of the international
embarrassment caused by failure of the Aminu Maigari-led NFF to fully
and firmly resolve issues of finance with the Super Eagles ahead of
the championship," a statement obtained by Reuters said afterwards.

Nigerian players were involved in strike action after winning through
their opening round group to the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil
but resumed training after Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan had
spoken to several senior players by telephone and assured them their
bonus money would be paid.

There is no clarity about who or why the court order seeking the
dismantling of the NFF was brought but the swiftness of the
injunction, the call for new elections and the assembling of the NFF
electorate suggested a well orchestrated putsch.

African governments for decades dictated the leadership of their
individual football associations until FIFA brought in the sanction of
suspension for those interfering.
Drastic changes like those affected by Nigeria are now rare but fellow
World Cup finalists Cameroon are being run by a 'normalisation
committee' after their old executive was drummed out of office and
their federation president jailed on fraud charges

Reference: Reuters

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