FIFA suspends Nigeria for government interference

The Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- FIFA has suspended Nigeria from international competition after football leaders were fired by the government following the team's World Cup exit amid a dispute over player bonuses.

The suspension took effect immediately on Wednesday, with Nigerian teams and officials barred from international matches and meetings.

FIFA has set a July 15 deadline to resolve the problem, or Nigeria faces exclusion from the Under-20 Women's World Cup that starts in August in Canada.

Nigeria's government ousted the football federation leadership and arrested its president Aminu Maigari after he returned from Brazil last week. The government blamed officials for embarrassing the country by not settling the dispute of player payments.

FIFA rules protect its 209 member federations from influence by third parties, including politicians.

The Nigerian government has issued a legal order for the sports ministry to appoint new federation leaders.

''The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn,'' FIFA said.

Nigeria advanced from its group for the first time since the 1998 World Cup, but lost 2-0 to France in the round of 16. Before that game, players rebelled against the federation after not receiving their money for reaching the knockout stage.

Nigeria is also scheduled to begin defending its African Cup of Nations title when qualifying matches start in September. The tournament kicks off next January in Morocco.

Nigeria was also temporarily banned by FIFA after the 2010 World Cup when the country's president Goodluck Jonathan tried to withdraw the team from international competition until it improved.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • 'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has likened himself to a lion after his brace in Sunday's 3-2 League Cup final win over Southampton took his goal tally to 26 this season. Ibrahimovic has made more appearances than any other member of … More »

      Reuters - 10 minutes ago
    • 'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      (Reuters) - Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has likened himself to a lion after his brace in Sunday's 3-2 League Cup final win over Southampton took his goal tally to 26 this season. Ibrahimovic has made more appearances than any other … More »

      Reuters - 14 minutes ago
    • 'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      'Lion' Ibrahimovic basks in cup heroics glory

      (Reuters) - Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has likened himself to a lion after his brace in Sunday's 3-2 League Cup final win over Southampton took his goal tally to 26 this season. Ibrahimovic has made more appearances than any other … More »

      Reuters - 21 minutes ago
    • Everyone at Liverpool playing for his future, says Klopp

      Everyone at Liverpool playing for his future, says Klopp

      Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said everyone at the Premier League club was playing for his future following Monday's 3-1 loss by struggling champions Leicester City. The Merseyside club, who have managed just one win in 2017, have seen their … More »

      Reuters - 32 minutes ago
    • Everyone at Liverpool playing for his future, says Klopp

      Everyone at Liverpool playing for his future, says Klopp

      (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said everyone at the Premier League club was playing for his future following Monday's 3-1 loss by struggling champions Leicester City. The Merseyside club, who have managed just one win in 2017, have … More »

      Reuters - 35 minutes ago