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Should politicians intervene in sporting affairs?

11:14 UK time, Monday, 5 July 2010

Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, has revoked the two-year ban he imposed on the national football team from playing international matches, following its early elimination from the World Cup, as football's world governing body, Fifa, threatened to expel Nigeria from world football. Do governments have the right to intervene?

Fifa rules prohibit government intervention in its members' affairs. The governing body's president Sepp Blatter had already warned French president Nicolas Sarkozy of possible sanctions after he pledged to personally lead an investigation into France's acrimonious World Cup campaign.

England's Football Association has been criticised by a former UK sports minister. After England's exit from the World Cup, Richard Caborn commented that the Football Association is "not fit for purpose".

Is Fifa right to threatened expulsion from international games? Should governments be able to interfere with football? How could the involvement of politicians help improve national team performances?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    To be fair...all nations are probably just as guilty of intervention in their football members.

    Anytime there is int'l sports, there is politics. They go hand in hand.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    How can FIFA have a rule that overturns action by a government? Are FIFA more worried about governments taking a closer look at their operation and uncovering some impalatable truths? Also maybe with the business of football becoming such a large part of peoples lives governments should be allowed to regulate to stop what would appear to be the basic bad practices that have lead to the demise of Portsmouth, the almost bankrupting of Man U and Liverpool by assest strippers. Where do international quangoes such as FIFA get off trying to interfere in the business of sovereign countries.

    Mr Blatter should go now and terminate his dictatorial leadership of FIFA. all power to Mr Sarkozy if he attempts to help reglate football as FIFA don't seem to have a clue.

  • Comment number 4.

    Who cares?

    FIFA would do better to sort out the fiasco that allows great footballing nations like New Zealand or the Ivory Coast to qualify for the finals when the likes of Sweden or Norway cannot qualify because due to geography their qualifying stages are so much more difficult.

    And we wont even discuss FIFA's dealing with a certain Dutch brewery.....

  • Comment number 5.

    Nigeria lost to better teams.
    England lost because multi millionaires where tired.AWWWWWWWWWWWW

  • Comment number 6.

    Never mind Nigeria - has anybody heard frome the North Korean team since they flew home?

  • Comment number 7.

    I just cannot believe it. The very idea that a government should interfere with sport. What next? It would never happen in Europe would it.

  • Comment number 8.

    ' Fifa rules prohibit government intervention in its members' affairs. The governing body's president Sepp Blatter had already warned French president Nicolas Sarkozy of possible sanctions after he pledged to personally lead an investigation into France's acrimonious World Cup campaign. '


    And Kim Jong Il publically stated that he was in charge of the North Korean Team - why no FIFA intervention there?

    surely a double standard.

  • Comment number 9.

    2. At 11:49am on 05 Jul 2010, plaintruth wrote:
    There is a basic problem in the whole conception of this war. The question is who is good and who is bad in Afganistan and which side we are trying to favour through this war. If we continue to overlook the epic corruption carried out by those who are in power in Afganistan we just loose the point of this war. My sincere advice would be to establish a honest government in Afganistan before betting anymore precious lives and any effort at all. In one word we can not win this situation favouring a shameless corrupt regime who has no respect for democracy.

    Whilst i agree with the substance of your view on afghanistan i do not feel it is relevant to the topic of Should nigeria be expelled from world football lol

  • Comment number 10.

    7. At 12:17pm on 05 Jul 2010, Davidethics wrote:
    "I just cannot believe it. The very idea that a government should interfere with sport. What next? It would never happen in Europe would it."

    I believe Greece nearly got booted out of FIFA because of government interference.

  • Comment number 11.

    Football is badly managed and regulated across all sectors, from the grossly disproportionate salaries-talent in UK, the lack of technical support for decision-making, the lack of any caps on foreign players per team, the grossly over-inflated salaries of football executives, the obscenely priced season-tickets, absolutely bizarre fixture programming (forcing fans to travel the length & breadth of the country on Sundays/Monday nights!!). Until money is NOT the driving factor, and we get back to basics, football will slowly strangle itself. I, for one, no longer hold a season ticket and I know of many others now turning away from football.
    The England World Cup performance just about summed up football for a UK fan.

  • Comment number 12.

    Nigeria lost to better teams.
    England lost because multi millionaires where tired.AWWWWWWWWWWWW


  • Comment number 13.

    If I could make it so I would welcome the Nigerian Team with open arms but make sure the Nigeria Goverment couldn't stick their nose in nor get any money out of it.

    So Nigeria didn't win, but only 1 team can after all.

  • Comment number 14.

    It is time to disband FIFA as it is itself not free of blame and corruption.

  • Comment number 15.

    Strange, Nigeria's president bans his national team from playing international games, so FIFA threaten to ban them from even more unless he changes his mind. Why do we care about Nigerian football anyway - we should be expending our energy on stopping their national export - Internet fraud.

  • Comment number 16.

    If they cannot abide by the clearly laid down rules then yes they should be expelled until their politicians learn to behave.

  • Comment number 17.

    The media reporting has made Goodluck Jonathan seem like he's simply punishing the poor Nigerian performance at the World Cup.
    This is not so.
    Should Nigeria be expelled from world football?
    What’s with all the threats anyway?
    Goodluck Jonathan knows exactly what he stands to lose
    - participation in junior, girls and other soccer events
    - FIFA funding
    - whatever else.
    Goodluck Jonathan has removed the Nigerian Team because he wants a full audit about how funds were being used at the World Cup, and perhaps other events as well. He maintains that Nigerian’s soccer house is in bad order. Two years seems reasonable to me to undertake a full audit and clean up the mess.
    Surely Fifa rules do not prohibit a government from intervening when there is a suspicion of…perhaps corruption, or at least very sloppy accounting?
    I feel, as much as I hate to see the suspension happen, that Goodluck Jonathan has made the right decision; he certainly can’t have made it lightly – not with everything he has to lose.

  • Comment number 18.

    It will have the same effect. No Nigeria in international football for a while and then they will come back.

    I can't help feeling international football might be better off without FIFA as well and English football would certainly benefit from a revamped FA.

  • Comment number 19.

    FIFA 100% right! no politics in football! end of!

  • Comment number 20.

    This World Cup has certainly shown FIFA in its true colours. The Nigerian President was right and actually showed willingness to be tough on those who dont perform. Sadly in the UK we lack that kind of strong management. Maybe thats why John Terry is able to act the way he did with Capello and why Rooney was a waste of space.

    Nigeria has shown the way, the FA should sit up and listen.

  • Comment number 21.

    Perhaps the team should withdraw from international matches of their own accord on the grounds that they don't want the rest of the world pointing and laughing. That'll be when they follow the example of the England team then.

  • Comment number 22.

    "5. At 11:59am on 05 Jul 2010, panchopablo wrote:
    Nigeria lost to better teams.
    England lost because multi millionaires where tired.AWWWWWWWWWWWW"

    Except Nigeria didn't lose to better teams - they should have comfortably beaten both South Korea and Greece. They didn't for a variety of reasons - elementary mistakes like missing an open goal and kicking another player, for example.

    You don't know what you're talking about.

  • Comment number 23.

    No it should not. The UK should impose a similar ban on the world cup squad. It is not as if England would lose anybody worth the cap.

  • Comment number 24.

    Maybe the Nigerian Government have got this right....

    Come on David Cameron, please do us all a favour and ban the England team from competing (oh, sorry, wrong word, they neither compete nor play) for years.... then we won't have to suffer watching them any more.

    Even better if they then get banned by FIFA.

  • Comment number 25.

    International football, and FIFA in particular, has become an embarrassment. Cheating players and match officials are far too common and the smell of corruption within the game is overpowering. Does FIFA's prohibition of government intervention extend to the police if there is evidence of wrongdoing?

  • Comment number 26.

    Nigeria should declare war on FIFA in return.

  • Comment number 27.

    "Fifa rules prohibit government intervention in its members' affairs."

    Except of course, when those governments spend taxpayers money to build host country's World Cup stadiums and infrastructure from which Fifa makes money.

    What a bunch of Fifa hypocrites.

    As for Fifa wanting to ban the Nigerians from international competition after their own government banned the team - that's typical of Fifa thinking they're more important than governments. Also typical of Fifa acting after everyone else does - like still not installing video technology to counter its dreadful choice of referees.

  • Comment number 28.

    How negative are people on HYS?

    I hear cries from people saying our government should ban our team for there terrible performance. Although Im sure if they did, these complainers would be the first to state the government has no say over our football team and declare "nanny state" as they always do.

    If footballs are overpaid and rubbish, why don't you become a footballer if its so easy? Oh wait, let me think. These players are the best out of 100,000's who have tried. As far as I'm concerned they deserve every penny they get, and if you have a problem with that why aren't you playing for England and putting it right?

  • Comment number 29.

    Absolutely. FIFA are correct in their actions.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think this is a very brave and bold move. I hope it works, but in theory I agree that it is up the country to decide if their team enters. Hopefully, they will come back better and ready to help an African team compete on the world stage.

  • Comment number 31.

    NFA(now NFF) like most football associations in the developing world is NOT independent of government. In fact the association cannot survive without government funding. NFF is neither the English FA that is self-sustaining nor the KNVB that runs a profit. It is more or less a government parastatal and all the corruption that this entails.FIFA is only deceiving itself complaining about government intervention in these cases. Can anyone imagine Cameron sacking the board of the FA?

  • Comment number 32.

    Yes quite possibly however it would be viewed as being racist in some way.I cant understand how responsible people can get so excited about 22 fully grown men kicking the life out of a bag of wind?Its a game-some you win some you lose live with it.There are far more important life threatening issues in the world especially in Nigeria.

  • Comment number 33.

    Are there really many countries who's Governments actually do not interfere in one way or another with the running of any sport let alone football?
    Nigeria's governments stance to ban players for 2 years for playing for their country may be harsh, but some countries take their sport more seriously than least as yet its not been announced that anyone is to be shot for the teams failure...but who knows what could happen...
    Sport is seen by many countries to be separated from politics...yet politicians make decisions and poke their nose into the running of sport all the time...which explains why we have a Minister for Sport...
    Personally a few things come into mind:
    1. Nigeria's stance is up to Nigeria...
    2. If FIFA are worried, then don't threaten a ban...DO IT!
    3. I remember countries deciding not to play South Africa and Rhodesia (Now ZIMBWABWE) because of political standings with Apartheid...If countries are so enraged with Nigeria...simply refuse to play them...
    4. Time is now to see who really runs sport...Sports Federations or Governments.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Fifa rules prohibit government intervention in its members' affairs."

    How can FIFA ever believe that rules that they make up can have supremacy over governmental actions.

    The belief that so-called rules about a business that is now based on violent conduct and cheating is just ludicrous!

  • Comment number 35.

    Hehe, made me laugh this, no because of itself, but only I'm sure that the President of Nigeria has better things to do.

    FIFA should be doing more about how the cheats and moneyspinners have turned the World Cup into a farce.

    Sort out your own house first, then pontificate on the others.

    Case in point, Suarez, sent off for denying a goal, penalty given, penalty missed, which would have sent Ghana through.

    Goal (penalty goal) should be awarded in cases like that, and perpetrators banned FOR LIFE, from ever playing competitive football again.

    It has marred the competition this time around. Suarez especially, best cheat I've seen since Sir Didlem Cheatham triumphed in the global 'I'm a better cheat than you' underhandedness competition.

  • Comment number 36.

    Why do some many people post on these threads without the first clue what they're talking about. The Nigerian football association is completely corrupt. The BBC even said as much....

    The president also plans an audit of the country's World Cup organising committee.
    "If any financial misappropriation is discovered, all officials responsible will be held accountable," Niboro added. "

    I hardly see how its 'political interferance' for a govt to investigate massive allegations of fraud by football officials.

    Mind you maybe FIFA wants to deter other govts from investigating fraud in football?

  • Comment number 37.

    It's about time FIFA was kicked in to touch, like the English FA, FIFA is full of stuffed shirts making a mint out of football. I think it's time to get back to basics again, start afresh with a completely new Enlish set of leagues that has no outside intervention, no parasites raking in money for doing nothing, and have it run solely by the players and team officials themselves. The present set up is just one big pay day for the parasites, and that includes the so called agents.

  • Comment number 38.

    Luis Suarez didn't cheat. He broke the rules and was sanctioned accordingly.

    Anyone with a brain would have done the same in his situation.

    Not his fault Asamoah Gyan couldn't put the penalty away.

  • Comment number 39.

    Sounds to me as if he has the right idea. Take his side out of world football until it has sorted itself out. FA please note.

  • Comment number 40.

    "The Nigerian football association is completely corrupt. The BBC even said as much...."

    Oh...must be true then.

  • Comment number 41.

    FIFA is a world body sports organization that sets standards for the game and organizes tournaments thus it can set limitations and penalties. Whoever doesn't like that need not participate and can go their own way but most countries have their teams adhere to FIFA's rules and regulations and since FIFA has with time adquired the authority and recognition to be arbiter of what happens in world football what FIFA say goes like it or not although there is a right to appeal on issues. There has to be a central authority in this venue. As for governments interfering in their teams that is perhaps an outgrowth of national pride since teams carry the national flag into competition and their performance is an issue for national discussion however it is not right for governments to make internal decisions in the clubs that is strictly a team management problem and all dealings between players and management ought to off limits to government influence. There is one country that can never be accused to interfering in football, soccer that is, the United States. The American sports media treats the World Cup as a nonevent with insulting snide remarks about those "goofy europeans" and their "game" never even mentioning the US team unless it looks like the US team might win a game and then just as quickly forgetting about them. In the US the issue is competition for the so called "national sport" baseball there is a paranoia about soccer siphoning away too many young people thus the organized American derision of soccer to protect all American inventions like baseball. It's enforced ignorance of the world. When there was a year of strike actions by baseball players for salaries against management the US govenrment got involved with Congress passing arbitration legislation because there was fear that the public would not come back to baseball not to forget the economic fallout of the game stoppage. So there it is governments get involved or not involved for various reasons as it suits them for better or worse. FIFA of course has to implement its own rules and stand by them.

  • Comment number 42.

    It seems harsh to ban/expel a team like that. I would have thought a complete sacking and reselection process might do a better job.

    No, politics shouldn't be involved, but since it's their own country that are going to suffer for it, then leave them to it, and let them back in when the Government backs off.

    ... unless Fifa are looking for a permanent expulsion... ouch!

  • Comment number 43.

    Bonkers....... It says a lot about Africa......

  • Comment number 44.

    I think fifa should ban Nigeria from competing in world cup soccer for 2 year starting from the begin of of this current world cup. now ever one will be happy

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    He should back down, however I fail to see how FIFA banning Nigeria has any affect when effectively that is what the Nigerian president is planning to do anyway.

  • Comment number 48.

    Does anyone else get the feeling that football is just such a farce now? Who cares what the Nigeria team do. They can do what they want. Why does this matter?

  • Comment number 49.

    I suspect if a few key countries got together they could expel FIFA - and based on this WC maybe that's what should happen.

  • Comment number 50.

    Can't FIFA expel the UK for cheating!! We can put in 4 teams, whereas other nations are only allowed one!

    Thinking about it, if we put one UK team in we might stand a better chance of winning the darned thing.

    As you can probably tell, I'm no footie (or eng-er-land fan)!!

  • Comment number 51.

    At 3:46pm on 05 Jul 2010, Tony Harrison wrote:

    Luis Suarez didn't cheat. He broke the rules and was sanctioned accordingly.
    I think you'll find that the definition of cheating is "breaking the rules" ...

  • Comment number 52.

    it's only a game guys, who cares.

  • Comment number 53.

    Really, who cares? It's only a game - and a rather boring one at that.

  • Comment number 54.

    You just have to rank the right of a government to govern its population ahead of the threats of a body that governs a sport. If FIFA attempt to interfere in the relationship between a team and its government then it is their future that should be in question.

    And isn't this the same body that screws up at every turn? Insisting on a referee being always right at the same time as rejecting technology that would help to ensure that this happy state actually occurred. Choosing a silly ball for the world cup. Failing to exert a meaningful sanction against Suarez after he'd admitted his handball was not instinctive. How many more stupid decisions and announcements do we have to get from FIFA before everyone ignores them totally and treats them with the disdain they deserve.

  • Comment number 55.

    "Should politicians intervene in sporting affairs?" Of course they should. Because while they are doing so, there is less time for them to mess up something really important, like, the economy. So let's have all the "malaise talk" we can handle.

  • Comment number 56.

    It has always been the case in civilised countries that politics and sport should never mix. The beginning of the end of apartheid in South Africa stands out as a classic case of sporting organisations defying the then government by refusing to play their sport unless coloureds were included in team selections. Seth Blatter's outburst, no matter what people say about him and his organisation, is correct. Politicians can criticise as long as that is as far as it goes, but to threaten investigation is a step towards dictatorship in the sport and that's not on.

  • Comment number 57.

    Just stop any Government subsidy for sport, no need then for a ban!

  • Comment number 58.

    Unless sport becomes a threat to national security it has nothing to do with poiticians.

  • Comment number 59.

    Football today is another big business. Like any other big business it can fall foul of both moral and legal standards. Like any other big business it should be subject to the law of the land and the oversight of the political authorities.

    If FIFA doesn't like it when other authorities endeavour to ensure that things are being run correctly within the football industry then hard luck FIFA, or do they have something to hide?

    God knows enough money is ploughed into the game by the fans and the taxpayers alike, they are at least entitled to the reassurance that governments are keeping a watchful eye on how things are proceeding.

  • Comment number 60.

    If we do not encourage dictatorship in government,why should the world governments sit and watch and allows dictators to govern football. Who is bigger? FA or national elected political leaders?

  • Comment number 61.

    Government should intervene in sporting affairs because the sporting teams are wearing and carrying the national colour and flag. Whatever happens to the team goes back to hunt the country, not the FA nor the sporting organisation.

  • Comment number 62.

    These days sport is full of politics and politics is a sport in itself.

    So how FIFA think they can eradicate all government interference is beyond me. It's a noble aim, but FIFA are forever promoting noble ideals that they don't live up to.

  • Comment number 63.

    Football is a business.
    It's a business which has conned it's customers into thinking it is more than a business.
    Customers think the business belongs to them either because it's based in their town or their country.
    Football is a business.

    Customers are easily fooled, they have votes, politicians will talk any crap to make it look like they care about football and how it is run.
    Politicians are liars.

    Football is a business.
    Businesses all have to work in the same legal framework.
    Politicians make governments.
    Governments make laws.
    There is no transitive property from politicians to laws "interfering" in business.
    Football is a business.

  • Comment number 64.

    Should politicians get involved in sport, yes they should to a point.

    If I were David Cameron I would be asking some very serious questions about England’s poor world cup performance, not just of the FA but of the previous conservative governments decision to allow schools to sell off their sports fields a decision which has resulted in growing numbers of child obesity and associated diseases.

    The day after England was eliminated I visited our local town. Virtually every shop had a world cup theme as its current and future sales campaign which was killed dead by the worst performance I have ever seen.

    Major sporting events are of a great benefit to this country both from an economic and psychological point of view. When England do well the whole attitude of the Nation changes.

    As for schools sports should be made compulsory.

  • Comment number 65.

    Only if they can do a better job than the shower we sent to the world cup!
    But seriously, it is only a game.

  • Comment number 66.

    Poiticians already interfere in football. Look up Jean-Marc Bosman in Wikipedia and you will find out that football assosiations are not above the law. Bosman took his club all the way to the European court, and won his case, a decision which had, and still has, severe ramifications for all European clubs. Check it out.
    In this case it was European law which was being broken, but I would not think that the rules of FIFA or anyone else could be considered to have supremacy over any sovereign state's law.

  • Comment number 67.

    Governments should first learn to govern competently before they start meddling in sport.

  • Comment number 68.

    It's only football.
    Really it is not that important, let the politicians do what they like.

    As for the British team, sorry I said team, I meant to say group of individuals.

    You have let your country down, you have let your friends and families down and you have let yourselves down....well done!.. another nail in the coffin of British football.

  • Comment number 69.

    4. pzero wrote: a rubbish rant.

    "Who cares?

    FIFA would do better to sort out the fiasco that allows great footballing nations like New Zealand or the Ivory Coast to qualify for the finals when the likes of Sweden or Norway cannot qualify."

    New Zealand qualified on merit and did not lose a game in the tournament, they didn't win one either but how is it a fiasco that NZ qualifies for only the second time and draws 1-1 with the defending champions, and draws with Paraguay the quarter finalists (who should have beaten Spain)?

    And how is it a fiasco that the start studded Ivory Coast team qualified?

    Do you even know what the word "fiasco" means?

  • Comment number 70.

    First, to Tom. T re: "Jean-Marc Bosman" -- The point being made here by Mr. T is confusing the rule of (sovereign) law, the operations of a sports organization (i.e. an international business with sport as its product), and the (temporary) administrative and legislative power of politicians. Indeed, this same confusion reigns throughout this question. In hopes of some clarity - FIFA et al will never have the power to make rules or policy that supercedes the law in any region where FIFA operate. FIFA has the right, as a free-enterprise entity, to not operate in a region where the laws encumber its rules and policies. Both FIFA and politicians will take any chance in their path to play to the audience(s) if it makes them look good or gains them more power. Both FIFA and politicians profit from a lack of clarity (which the law should provide) because that aids their obfuscations and bolshy grandstanding.
    Show-pony morons like Goodluck Johnston operate as a law unto themselves as long as they can hold the crowd's attention and get out of town before the worst of their graft and corruption is discovered.

    But "Should politicians intervene in sporting affairs?" Dumb question. When you look at what a fantastic job they have done in the UN, in the Middle East, in Africa, in disciplining a rogue Israel in the disruptions she is causing world-wide, in caning the Catholic Church for its crimes against children -- how could we question their ability to adminstrate sport?

  • Comment number 71.

    YES ! I would like our government to step in and make sure we train our own players instead of buying expensive players from abroad.

    I also want the government to step in and make football clubs pay for their own policing - I'm sick of my taxes being wasted on this when the clubs are making millions of pounds in profit each year. I can make millions per year if someone else is paying all my bills !

  • Comment number 72.

    Fifa should shut up. If footballers are representing their country then yes governments should interfere. Fifa has consistently shown inconsistency in the way it is run and the rules it wants to enforce. eg why does Israel play group matches in europe? The south african world cup was purely political and should never have gone there. The amount spent could have been better used to improve the lives of many poor people. Make no mistake it will come back to bite them. The ANC has promised much since in government and delivered very little- housing is the biggest issue and people there are getting fed up

  • Comment number 73.

    Of course governments shouldn't be allowed to intervene - do we not remember a certain country's footballers having the soles of their feet publicly lashed because of their poor performance a few years back!?
    There are a lot of backward countries out there and i really wouldn't be surprised if the north korean team are already locked up or dead!

  • Comment number 74.

    22. At 1:09pm on 05 Jul 2010, yeahman wrote:
    "5. At 11:59am on 05 Jul 2010, panchopablo wrote:
    Nigeria lost to better teams.
    England lost because multi millionaires where tired.AWWWWWWWWWWWW"

    "Except Nigeria didn't lose to better teams - they should have comfortably beaten both South Korea and Greece. They didn't for a variety of reasons - elementary mistakes like missing an open goal and kicking another player, for example."

    Both Greece and South Korea are great teams in there own ways.

    Besides the the foolishness of the bloke getting sent off against Greece,Nigeria played teams that deserved there wins by own great play not Nigeria misfortune.

    Nigeria have been overated far,far too long and where exposed by better teams.
    At least they tried to play and did not make excuses that are overated bottlers we have in England.

    You don't know what you're talking about.

  • Comment number 75.

    There are too many possible intangibles why any Team under-performed for FIFA to get involved. In any event it is an INTERNAL Matter.

    Where FIFA should be involved is IMPROOVING it's system especially in REFEREEING:

    1. There were Too Many "Game-Deciding" BAD Calls for this Calibre of Competition.

    2. Canadian Sportscaster did a survey, and INCREDIBLY, of all the Refs and Linesmen at World Cup, Only THREE are PROFESSIONALS. Perfect starting-off point for Remedying BAD-CALLS.

    To oversee a WORLD Class Tournament without the BEST Referees & Linesmen really question FIFA's Priorities and Committment to FAIR-Play.

  • Comment number 76.

    Did the people of Nigeria hire their president to run the national football team or to administer the country on their behalf?

  • Comment number 77.

    Governments and football do not mix.

    And in the UK the Premier League, the Football League and the FA are also not compatible with our national game. Time to clear the gin-soaked from the smoke filled rooms.

  • Comment number 78.

    Who was it who said in the world of the blind the one eyed man is king? Of course FIFA wants to keep anyone who can apply rationality and logic out of the game because they know they have displayed neither in their recent years. Like the rulers of Ruritania the only way they can keep their obsolete kingdom, and their own powerbase, together is by pretending the world isn't there and hoping it will go away. Problem is they want the world's money, as much of it as they can shovel in, they opened the door and now it will be increasingly hard to control who wants a say in running their land.

  • Comment number 79.

    ...and as for FIFA - they can't even differentiate between a football and a balloon.

  • Comment number 80.

    Tells you more about the arrogance and expectations of Nigerian politicians than politicians in general. And the reaction is not surprising.

  • Comment number 81.

    Two teams both representing England.
    One football play very badly get big amounts of money come home with nothing.
    The other tiddlywinks play very well no pay win the world cup of tiddlywinks.
    Which team has done the best for the country

  • Comment number 82.

    Is Fifa right to threatened expulsion from international games?


    No it should however, spend some time looking at the World Cup (once its finished) and:

    Introduce use of video technlogy/the 4th official to eliminate the dodgy decisions that mar the game.

    Introduce punishments for "acting" and "off ball" incidents

    Review why they allowed a "new" ball to be introduced?

  • Comment number 83.

    FIFA should keep out of any country`s affairs. They are not God!
    And Blatter is just a waste of human skin.

  • Comment number 84.

    the wrong ?.we should ask should sport be involved in politics and big business?the answer is it should not!but it does.blatter and platini are astute as any freewheeling banker and is friends in the city of westminster.

  • Comment number 85.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 86.

    51. At 5:16pm on 05 Jul 2010, Swissfish wrote:
    At 3:46pm on 05 Jul 2010, Tony Harrison wrote:

    Luis Suarez didn't cheat. He broke the rules and was sanctioned accordingly.
    I think you'll find that the definition of cheating is "breaking the rules" ...


    I had my post at #46 removed for saying just the same thing.

    This is about as consistent as the football refereeing we see at matches

  • Comment number 87.

    The question, I believe, is "Should politicians interfere in sporting affairs".

    The answer is "No, politicians should NOT interfere is sporting affairs".

    The reality, though, is that this has been done in many sports over many years, so it might be a case of people in glass houses.

    Do we so quickly forget the to-do with the England cricket team, both a couple of decades ago with South African apartheid and just a couple of years ago with Zimbabwe? Or should I not bring up these reminders of our own political interference?

    So while we castigate other countries for for the splinter in their eye we might want to check the beam in our own.

  • Comment number 88.

    Oh well, at least he got his sound bite and photo-opportunity!
    Good job done by the politico!
    That's what it is about!

  • Comment number 89.

    The only political intervention that can help the England football team is for England to have it's own parliament. It will also help everything else in England too.

    At the World Cup England was the only nation without it's own national day, national anthem and parliament.

    England is a none nation. we won't win anything until we're a proper nation again.

  • Comment number 90.

    FIFA and Blatter are against political intervention?

    I didn't even know FIFA were taking the road to Damascus....

  • Comment number 91.

    Both bodies; that of Politics and Sports are vastly different from each other, one must not play a rule on the other under any circumstances to command an unjust order. These Politicians duly destroying the Globe through their thoughtless actions of pleasing a section of the people through their accepting feeding from the so called as Bureaucrats who are responsible for crucifying our most beloved Lord Christ; without giving a little of thought into any Subject that govern wellbeing of us, how these figures can destroy the other event which is more or less immune to such interferences. The moment we allow it to happen so, this event shall also die a premature death.

    With nothing running normal within the Globe at present, none shall ever see anything producing a result as we are expecting but see a reverse of it so long the World don’t become normal once again. Understanding the situation as abnormal, we must live with it; deriving the same amount of pleasure without exactly sticking to a particular team to go by its performance but should hold a bigger idea of considering the entire teams belong to us to enable ourselves to enjoy with whosoever wins a game for whatever reason that not necessarily mean or reflect that we are selecting the best team out of the entire depending upon its performance of it at that particular moment of time without doing of a matching with the overall qualification of the team to claim it but happen out of current circumstances forcing the result to happen so.

    If we allow Politicians to enter into the field under the present circumstances who know nothing other than seeing of a self gain, there can be any other worst injury we can inflict into the event of Sports.

    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 92.

    7. At 12:17pm on 05 Jul 2010, Davidethics wrote:

    I just cannot believe it. The very idea that a government should interfere with sport. What next? It would never happen in Europe would it.

    I don't think the would agree!

  • Comment number 93.

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. FIFA are hypocrites

  • Comment number 94.

    The only way our government could help out in our dismal football World Cup performance would be to somehow limit the number of overseas players in league teams.

    As entertaining as they are they do inhibit the progress of English players making it difficult to find a national team with the right level of skill.

    Up and down the land able British born footballers are languishing in lower leagues because there is no room for them in the premier league.

    Maybe the same situation applies in other countries and could well be the reason that so many nations were a disappointment in this year's World Cup competition.

  • Comment number 95.

    Of course politicians should be allowed to interfere with the game.
    That is provided of course that in order to qualify for entry in any subsequent series, the meddlesome politician must be fielded as one of that team's players.

  • Comment number 96.

    they should have no say in sporting events unless the tax payer is paying a bill, in which case if the sports person is deemed to be a failure they should be sacked, and not given 6 years pay.

  • Comment number 97.

    Fifa - who are they? Do you know anyone who elected these people into the position where they think they have sway over governments.
    Would we not call that a quango.....and surely all quango's should be disbanded.
    Can someone do the same to the Superleague self imposed self opinionated hierarchy.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Yes, in a penalty shoot out the cabinets of the countries involved should take part.

  • Comment number 100.

    It is not a question of whether or not politicians should interfere in football. The real issue is how much interference they should have since we could not do without their involvement. Lets not forget that the politicians are stakeholders as they invest in these national teams financially. And over the years we have witnessed the massive investments governments have made into the national football teams. What does FIFA consider as interference then?
    Maybe we could take the argument from that angle. For example in Nigeria's case, I consider the politicians' involvement as extreme thereby amounting to interference and it is a step taken in the right direction that Goodluck has gone ahead to withdraw his 'decree'. Let FIFA draw the boundaries for their involvement not completely ban their interference.


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