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Nigeria denied window to the world

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Piers Edwards | 22:21 UK time, Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan must be a brave man. I've travelled to 80-odd countries and nowhere have I ever found such seething energy as in Nigeria - an electricity which translates into both rampant passion and expectation when applied to football.

While covering the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, I'll never forget the outrage of Nigerian fans who - infuriated by the hosts' failure to beat group rivals Congo - smashed the team bus and were only prevented from accessing the dressing rooms by volleys of tear gas.

Many Nigerians believe football to be the only area which ever unites their vastly disparate land of over 300 tribes and 150 million inhabitants.

Now though, the sport has been taken away from them.

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For the government's dissolution of the national team for two years means - should it ever come to pass - that the Super Eagles, now dubbed the Super Chickens, will miss the 2012 Nations Cup. Perhaps Libya 2013 as well.

Well known for taking an exceedingly dim view of governmental interference in a national federation's affairs, football's world governing body Fifa may also threaten a ban.

But one wonders whether such a suspension - from the government or Fifa (although a Normalisation Committee may well be looming) - is the best way of getting Nigeria's football house in admittedly much-needed order. For this year's World Cup preparations were certainly bumpy.

Shortly after January's Nations Cup, coach Shaibu Amodu was fired despite achieving his NFF targets of a) qualifying for South Africa and b) reaching the Nations Cup in Angola, where Nigeria took third.

Lars Lagerback was appointed in February but only after Glenn Hoddle said he'd rejected the post after being told his short-term deal worth US$1m would be announced as US$1.5m by the NFF - and financial accountability is forming part of the government's ongoing investigation.

Nigeria then warmed up by having more friendlies cancelled than played while their World Cup base camp was changed at the last minute - costing the NFF a US$125,000 Fifa fine. But still the squad ended up at sea level in South Africa, which seemed strange when their first two matches were at altitude.

Player selection also had the Nigerian media speculating about favouritism, with Lagerback forced to deny he had selected Kanu under NFF pressure, and though coming within a whisker of qualifying, undone by Sani Keita's moment of madness, was it any surprise Group B didn't go to plan?

Nigeria suffered a continental ban in the nineties after being barred from the 1998 Nations Cup by Caf for withdrawing from South Africa 1996 following criticism from Nelson Mandela over the ruling military's hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other human rights activists.

That prevented one of Nigeria's, and Africa's, best ever sides from contesting the 2008 Nations Cup - just two years after the Okocha, Oliseh, Babangida, Kanu, Amuneke generation had proved truly golden when winning the 1996 Olympics.

Nigeria did reach the last 16 at France '98 - but the West Africans haven't won a World Cup game since and their 2002 and 2010 campaigns, either side of their failure to qualify for Germany, ended in the first round.

Given that this disappointing World Cup prompted the government's drastic move, one wonders whether they're prepared to sacrifice the 2014 campaign for the long-term future? Or this is simply a dramatic way of decapitating the current NFF board?

Meanwhile, the fans who've long bemoaned their federation's failures probably don't
know whether to laugh or cry.

"We are a rich nation but very poor, because we've made mistakes in many areas, but the one area where we've ever shown greatness is football," says Segun Odegbami, who won the 1980 Nations Cup, when explaining his compatriots' fervour.

"The players show our best side to the world and the whole nation unites behind them. Very simply, football is a reminder of our potential as a great country."

Not at the moment. Good luck Jonathan indeed.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Nigeria had an easy group, but were crippled before they arrived by NFF incompetence.

    The previous coach's "achievements" were beating the likes of Benin and Mozambique, and it was he who agreed to the NFFs lunatic low altitude camps in London and Durban, which were all about shopping and beach holidays for the army of NFF hangers-on and their girlfriends. He should have been gone at least a year earlier to give the World Cup coach the opportunity to build a team.

    Nigeria was beating Greece when Kaita was sent off, but ten unacclimatised men had no hope of surviving at altitude for over an hour.

    Make no mistake, it was NFF bungling which robbed Nigeria of progress which, given their easy draw, may have been as far as the upcoming Uruguay v Ghana quarter-final. The NFF must go, and while that will mean a FIFA punishment so be it, because FIFA's "no political interference" rule is all about propping up federations whose FIFA votes can be bought, just as all NFF decisions revolve around buying off their own domestic electorate.

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    Of what use is the dregs; fling it to the swine! Yes, the super chicken are carcass. Long before they were cast out of the world with their between two legs, I had called for a moratorium of at least three years. The government however may not have been sincere on this action, it could have been to the gallery, especially as the general election is less than a year. yes to the public those players are lepers. The government action should be popular among the vast majority of Nigerian fans. To them, it would be a big relief from investing hope in failure incarnate that only bring heart attack. It may be also considered as a good riddance for the misfits and corrupts at the football house.The government pronuncement may be the end of the matter after momentary applause. No reorganisation, no youth developemt, etc.
    Please dont mind FIFA, they are hypocrites. They allow governments to sponsor teams and football associations and to invest public money into hosting competition, yet the governments cannot have say in the affairs of football, bladder dash. No governments, no african football

  • Comment number 4.

    Goodluck Jonathan, you're going to need it.

  • Comment number 5.

    We are fully in support of the action of Presiden Goodluck Jonahan to suspend the Super Eagles of Nigeria and desire to probe the Nigerian Footbal Federation.
    The country's football need to start on a clean slate, with people who will put the growth of football ahead of their personal gains, to manage football in Nigeria.
    The action of the President is a welcome development.

  • Comment number 6.

    This must be a feelgood story for English readers, to reassure them that "Look, our footie is in a mess, but there's messier messes out there"! :-)

    Still - maybe the Nigerians have a point. I wonder if the FA would considering withdrawing from international football for two years to get its own house in order.

    No - silly me - that would be ridiculous.

    It's crazy to expect that the FA could sort out English football in just two years.

  • Comment number 7.

    To be honest in no country is sport a seperate and independent entity. Fifa may ban the nation but that would be more counter productive than progressive. Why should a country, which struggles to allocate the funds it has to the right areas for national development, have to pour money into what is essentially an openbottom pocket. If one put alot of money into a school but all the students continously failed exams it would be argued that the money should be redirected. F

    ifa is not a transnational organisation equal to the UN, IMF or WB that it can now decide how a country deals with citizens of that country who become ambassadors of that country every 2/4 years.

  • Comment number 8.

    Nigeria has their points, they have still done well in some competitions, Youth and the Olympics, getting Silver last time. This seems to be aimed at the Senior Men's team. I said it well before the World Cup, Nigeria is somewhat the England of Africa, they have problems getting their act together.

  • Comment number 9.

    @6. buymyexpresso: and everyone else, If you have ever read Nigeria's newspaper Vanguard and the many comments that have been made since the African Cup, this is certainly no surprise, there is widespread disenchantment, there was dissatisfaction with the Coach Amodu who coached Nigeria to qualification and later dismissed, there is disenchantment that many people think the Nigerian Football Association is corrupt, about players in the big foreign leagues being chosen and played instead of home league players, disenchantment to get a foreign coach in most cases, the one they got is thought to have been on the cheap.

    @1 Yakabusdiet: You say it was an easy group but per Fifa rankings and even if you took out Argentina in computing the strength of the group, that was a competitive group. I think we saw in this World Cup, it's not easy to call any group or team easy, sure you can point to something like Portugal steamrolling N. Korea 7-0 but N. Korea did give Brazil plenty of fits in the first game.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is unfortunately a knee jerk reaction and will not solve the problems of Nigerian football. There is administrative incapacity in every facet of the Nigerian life and soccer is only a tip of the iceberg. One was hoping this president will attempt some real reform by tackling much more important areas of the national life like improved supply of water, regular power supply, making our industries work and so allowing for creation of jobs and facilitating direct investments in Nigeria.
    As important as soccer is in making a people proud and united, it surely must come a distant place in the priorities of a nation. This is a very wrong decision and poorly informed choice of action.

  • Comment number 11.

    i spoke with my brother last night as soon as i read the news of the government ban,i wanted to know the reaction back home,well,he said that he think that the president will defifnitly change his mind,that he was probably ill adviced.Now what the president did or wants to do is something an angry drunk Nigerian will say in a bar after watching our last world cup game in south Africa,but this is the president of Nigeria for christ sake!!why would he even come up with such naive idea?how then does he want coaches to build a team?maybe he thinks building a team will be like building house hence they all have the term "building".....can some please tell him we cannot build a team by staying away from international football for two years?can somebody tell him to use his power and position to help put together a honest and purposeful NFF?and maybe ban all the so called super Eagles who took part in southafrica?as that will help our new coach(Lagerback by the way)concentrate on some local and fresh new oversee based players who will be ready to die to make their country proud?well,his government should swiftly deny that statement in a smart way,and as fast as they can,it has became an international embarassment.....thought he was in G20 meeting...what will those other Presidents think of him?especially our own beloved obama? begining to lose all my confidence in feeling like shit right now...thought presidents are suppose to think before they say?and not say and then think afterwards.Don´t these guys learn a thing from Barack Obama?....look,people will say "how does obama come into this?",well life itself is politics,and Barack obama embodies modern politics which has one of its foundation on listening and learning.our president doesnt seems to have heard of a thing like that,otherwise he should have listened to what FIFA(who for his information is the football ruling body)about football and politics.every kid in Nigeria know this....believe me!! i dread now what Bill Maher will think of our president,if he thinks Sarah Palin is a "category 5 moron" simply because she thought "Bush doctrines" are some kind of bible quotations....i still like our Goodluck......wait a minute,is he not suppose be educated?Gawd!! now am pleased i never went to school. :D

  • Comment number 12.

    maybe french president should ban all their national teams for life,not just for the way french national team played at the worldcup,but also the way they behaved.....this better be a joke Mr president!!....don´t even want to joke about what the situation will be for north korean national team....probably langiushing in some underground cell.....wonder what FIFA will do to that :D

  • Comment number 13.

    How do these fools come into power anyway??

  • Comment number 14.

    "Goodluck Jonathan" - when I was growing up in Africa nobody would take you seriously with a name like that. I find it hard to take the story that the president has suspended his country's side from international football seriously either. Good luck to Nigeria, or should I say good luck for Nigeria..

  • Comment number 15.

    As a Ghanaian I agree 100% with the action taken by the Nigerian government. This FIFA policy of non-interferance by governments into the affairs of football associations have only made associations more corrupt. FIFA should rethink this policy out. The FAs are part of a national setup and represent citizens. How do you expect government to allocate resources to the FA and then you tell them you can't tell the people how to run the FA. Well, the government has now said Nigeria won't participate in any more tournaments. By the ban it renders the FA useless since there can be no principal and teachers in a school which has no students, FIFA can take its FA members and do whatever they want with them. When the current FA goes, Nigeria will be back and a new FA team will be setup. I hope the French are observing the move. Blatter might be unhappy because some of his votes have been taken away. Well done President Goodluck J.

  • Comment number 16.

    I've got to say, man, You guys talking about someone being drunk (post 11) or something, the events in Nigeria are very tangible and moving very fast as we speak rather than just hearing a simplistic view from readers about why that team is being disbanded for the time being.

    "From 3:27 p.m. when a detachment of 14 policemen stormed the Glass House secretariat of the Nigeria Football Association, Abuja , yesterday, it was no longer business as usual." and the Police took away files. Or another story reads: "It emerged yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may investigate the controversial appointment of Lars Lagerback as coach of the Eagles." Sounds serious. And Yes, it sounds like football is too seriously being taken compared to other problems.

    On one other note, fine blog Mr. Piers Edwards, may I point out a typo: "That prevented one of Nigeria's, and Africa's, best ever sides from contesting the 2008 Nations Cup - just two years after the Okocha, Oliseh, Babangida, Kanu, Amuneke generation had proved truly golden when winning the 1996 Olympics." , You must mean 1998 but I'm glad you told us about this chapter in the history of Nigeria of which I was scantly aware of.

    England had a tough world cup? Man, Nigeria did and that red card in the Greece game was a real fiasco but did show that Greece could in fact, play attacking football up a man and really weren't that bad.

  • Comment number 17.

    @fabulousRedsReds - President Goodluck J has done a reverse psycho on FIFA. Since the government is barred from touching the FA what use will the FA be if Nigeria is no longer involved in international football sanctioned by FIFA? Can there be a school without students? Sepp Blatter can recall the executives to FIFA HQ and give them jobs there. The Ghana FA is not clean either and it's only a matter of time.

  • Comment number 18.

    well.............I would say wrong move in a right direction, NFF needs to be disbanded, but not to the extent that we will risk fifa's wrath, imagine the contract given to glenn hoddle and they want to report a contract of $1m as $1.5, to my dear nation Nigeria this is an embarassment, well I will like to know how many years we risk been suspended by fifa, if its also 2 years or 3 years then fine, lets sacrifice it, NFF or NFA have done enough harm to us, and the players arrogance and unpatriotic attitude has put the icing on the sour cake they are given us, its a shame to Nigeria and shame on the players, we used to the best on the continent but now these players are now average players, I pity our future in football....while I welcome the suspension from the lovely president.....we just need to do it in accordance with Fifa's rule thats all.............Nigeria will hail thee.........

  • Comment number 19.

    Governments, politicians and all other fat cats must stay out of football. What do they know anyway? They should rather focus on cleaning up their own corrupt administrations.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am really excited about this.

    What is FIFA going to do now? The government of a nation have declared that the nation would not engage in International football for 2 years while they tidy up shop.

    FIFA's stance has always been ridiculous. You can pump millions of dollars into football but you are not allowed to 'interfere'.

    Well now that Mr Goodluck has suspended the national team and the Nigerian FA is now defunct let's see how it pans out.

    I watched Nigeria play and they were like the African England, thinking they had a divine right to get through and not playing with passion and as a unit.

    Who do you blame? Primarily the FA.

    A disgrace? Yes, 1 in every 5 africans is a Nigerian. Football is not Nigeria's main sport, it's Nigeria's only sport.

    Look at the way team USA, South Korea, Ghana and a very young Germany played with passion and determination.

    What happened to that spirit that Nigeria showed us on their first appearance on the world scene in USA 94 where they were voted the most entertaining team in the competition and were 2 minutes away from a quarter final place where naivety caused them to lose against Italy.

    Some may say this was a rash decision but I say every supporter of Nigerian football should be glad that the government is auditing their investment in the sport.

    Having said that, let's hope they can audit other areas of failings in the country apart from sport. That would keep the corrupt gremlins on their toes.

  • Comment number 21.

    It's a scandal that English football is so far behind the likes of Spain. I was at Portugal v Spain - the Spanish were a joy to watch, but I reckon only about 200 of their natives were at the game to witness it. A few days before I was at Germany v England. At least 25,000 English fans were at the game. But instead they had to witness humiliation.

    So the British Government should do exactly the same and disband the English FA, as they are to blame for much of the mess that is English football. It could then setup a new structure and actually implement recommendations from one of the many well informed reports produced over the past decade (or more), or it could follow some of the successful models of other sports in the UK, say rowing, swimming, cycling or rugby.

    It wouldn't harm to lean on the Premier League too. Wouldn't it be great if our top division was a decent British based league that, instead of being driven by greed, has the interests of the English game at it's heart?

    Of course it wont happen. What will is that The FA will muddle along and our football will continue to lag way behind better coached nations. The English manager will be blamed for the mess and get sacked. The Premier League will continue to import foreign owners and foreign stars and get into more and more debt. The English national team will continue to be mediocre (at best). And those in charge of the game will continue to cash in whilst the football loving majority will continue to bemoan 'the state of the game'. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

  • Comment number 22.

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

  • Comment number 23.

    I think this is an excellent move from the President. Most people I know now treat the Super Eagles the same way our local league teams are treated, with thinly veiled disinterest.

    If Sepp Blatter wants to help, he should appoint a foreign NFF chairman, rather than the multitude of useless foreign coaches the federation keeps shopping for. Otherwise, he should go and sulk somewhere.

  • Comment number 24.

    I think that for 1 man to take a nations and world of footballing decision, without much detailed thought of implications is very wrong. We live in a world where multi-tasking is essential and I believe that Nigeria football federation could easily continue playing football against the best for continual improvement and get their house in order.

  • Comment number 25.

    FIFA 'rules' cannot supersede any Country's Constitution or a presidential directive. It is only through the benevolence of Africa's Taxpayers (who have no choice!) - and not the money of Advertisers and Sponsors - that Football is played and FIFA 'competitions are contested.

    2011 is a FIFA election year; Joseph Sepp Blatter, desperate to win a 4th term will never kick Nigeria out of FIFA even if it means begging their president to change his mind. There is a Nigerian, Amos Adamu, in the FIFA Executive Committee and FIFA are 'monitoring news coming out of Nigeria'! If it was a small African country without 'connections' in high places Blatter would have already thrown them out (Remember Ethiopia kicked out of the 2010 World Cup and it took 6 years for FIFA to place a subservient 'committee' that will do as FIFA says.

    Obviously the 'officials' in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) are compromised - legally and otherwise - and therefore Blatter will back them to continue in office which ensures he gets Nigeria's vote in 2011.

    Extract from an Information Sheet sent to FIFA and others
    • AMOS ADAMU (Nigeria) cannot continue as a FIFA Executive Committee Member when his Federation’s ‘officials’ and others have been caught trying to steal from Nigeria’s Football Sponsors.

  • Comment number 26.

    10. At 05:08am on 01 Jul 2010, motuns wrote:

    This is unfortunately a knee jerk reaction and will not solve the problems of Nigerian football.

    This is no knee jerk reaction, this move was long overdue.
    Regarding Fifa ban, if it comes, so be it. Wasn't it the same Fifa that pleaded to the Nigerian government not to pull out of the last Juniour championship, when the government said it did not have funds, did Fifa not know that running to the government was an infringement of their own ruls?
    How many national football authorities can operate without their governments permission? Can England, Germany, Brazil... host the wc without government funding or permit? Where there are individuals in with corrupt practices in national FA, is it Fifa thqt will procecute them or the government of that country? Is it Fifa that issues pasports to players or the governments? Fact is he fifa rule is very flawed, and any organisation or person within the borders of any country is subject to the law of the land.

    Imho 2 years might not be enough to get football sorted out in Nigeria. There are a lot of issues with the most painfull part footballers in our local leagues know that they have no chance of representing their country unless they play outside our borders. Players find themsels playing in the likes of Sudad, Benin, Gabon, just to answer that they are playing abroad to get a chance to represent their country. What happened to Sooting stars, leventis, eyimba, bcc lions, rangers, sharks, which produces our heroes of past? What is happening to our national stadium in surulere (not abuja), onikan, and other stadia around the country?
    Those in authority have let the country down, with extended stories of officials and coaches asking international players for bribes. take a look at the 1st wc in Africa, we had the NFF submitting a very long list of accredited officials to go to South Africa, without pr=urchace of tickets, forcing the South Africam high commission to turn down their visa application. Did all this peole need to attend the wc on the bill of tax payers as accredited by the NFF?
    The prsidency have done noble with this announcement, at least we know that money for football will not be lost to this set of corrupt individuals. maybe the next set will see this as an incentive to be more astute when a new body is reconstituted

  • Comment number 27.

    FIFA needs an overhaul as well. Sadly Sepp Blatter has already secured himself another term thanks to his pals in African FAs.

  • Comment number 28.

    Personally I don't think this is the right decision and it feels like it's really not been thought through. To start with the problems with Nigerian footbal are just a picture of the government itself. Poor leadership, inability to manage, short termism and of course corruption. While disbanding the football federation may be okay banning, the team from international competitions might prove to be counter productive. How do you motivate a team to train and perform well when they have no goal in sight. Since they have nothing to aim for in the likes of international competitions do you sincerely think they will be challenegd to give their best in preparations? I don't think so. Okay the current team didn't give their best, we know that. But let's be honest and look at the statistics surrounding that team. Most of the players if we are going to be true to ourselves are over aged anyway, they shouldn't even be in the team. And that showed because they lacked pace. That in itself is a symptom of poor leadership and management.
    I would say disband the current team and start working on some of our younger players, exposing them to senior international football. You only have to look at the young German and Ghanian teams to agree that it is possible. But please don't ban senior level football for two years.

  • Comment number 29.

    I support President Goodluck for his actions and i think he should also go further to stop Nigerian footballers from reducing their age by minimum of 10 years. Reducing age is no longer an advantage to us,one can easily see that they are looking weak and tired even before a game. Yakubu, Kanu, Taiwo etc are over 40 years and they find it hard to have an impact on the game. We all understand that if don`t reduce your age, it will be impossible to get a team in europe. The Ghanians took 8 players from their under 20 and they are doing very well. Nigeria should follow the full step of Ghana and stop playing with grandpa.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think the punishment's more than too much, it's gone beyond the bounderies of common sense. It's true Nigeria's performance was abysmal but this is down to all African teams, they lack commitment & killer sense of style or shall I say mentality to beat big teams. Reduce the ban!

  • Comment number 31.

    @bolaowoade you wrote "I would say disband the current team and start working on some of our younger players, exposing them to senior international football. You only have to look at the young German and Ghanian teams to agree that it is possible. But please don't ban senior level football for two years."

    Guess what. In Ghana it is the FA that has made it a policy to always include at least 4 youth players and some local players in the team. The NFF failed Nigerians and since FIFA has that lousy policy it left the government no choice but to close shop. Now that the shop is closed the shopkeepers should be out of job. The "expired" goods will be thrown out and then a new shopkeeper will be brought in to sort things out.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Gheng Enock - please get your facts right. Europe has the same record as Africa as we speak. 20% of their teams qualified for the Quarter Finals, as is the case with Africa based on the number of countries from these two regions. The African players as you know ply their trade mostly in Europe so they share if not the same more killer sense than at least the English. The problem in Naija boils down to the NFF and FIFA that supports their ineptitude. Nigeria has had some good foreign coaches in the past and that was not under the same NFF administration. Something has changed in the administration of football in Naija the once Super Eagles who these days can't even fly.

  • Comment number 33.

    Ive heard about shooting your self in the foot, but this is ridiculous!

  • Comment number 34.

    Sorry but this new President has made himself look like a fool with such a childish, knee-jerk reaction to what was a poor World Cup for Nigeria. Apart from Argentina they may have thought they had a chance of clinching 2nd in the group but one look at the squad tells the whole story. They are simply no longer the Super Eagles that the world came to know in the late 90's early 2000's.
    Therefore Goodluck's expectations are ridiculous against the backdrop of competing in a group with one of the tournament favourites Argentina, a rapidly improving and impressive South Korea and the 2004 European Champions (Greece if you've forgotten!)

  • Comment number 35.

    This decision is wrong. The President of the country can use his powers to tell those in the FA not to contest any election until the investigations over alleged corrupt practises is concluded. They can then do an election during that process and put credible men and women to lead the organisation. That way FIFA will not interfere unless FIFA is saying that they support corruption. You can never develop in anything by staying away from it. Let them use their Under 23 or Under 21 sides to play all the matches of the main national teams if they are interested in development. That way they have the FA that they want and the players will be better for it and are not languishing in international doldrums. They can even decide that all matches involving the national team will be executed by players based in Nigeria. An outright ban does not make sense.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well,why not do this to the England team as well, Nigeria were not expected to reach the last four England were. This seems a hard decision but they gave a lot more than our lot of overpaid so called stars of the game.National pride and passion is vital to do well, don't know about Nigeria but we certainly didn't have it at all.Why not also heavily reduce the players fees for such rubbish performances, cause it seems money is ll they really care about.Nigeria first England next, you never know.

  • Comment number 37.

    "Not at the moment. Good luck Jonathan indeed. "

    How predictable was this line?

  • Comment number 38.

    The truth is that issues in Nigeria are best explained by Nigerians or those who take active interest to investigate and know the true position of things in our Country. This ban, infers a dissolution of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). FiFa seems to be in support of a corrupt, vision-less and careless organization such as NFF, making them usurp this FIFA support to blackmail anyone who calls them to make an account of their deeds.
    The Nigerian government and every Nigerian has decided to call this Bluff off by first of all banning ourselves, not just the national football teams, but all Nigerians, since the national team is ours from all FIFA organized competition. This course of action will be fathomed in the next 10years, and we will then be Vindicated. We need this sacrifice to be better tomorrow. so if FIFA has more 2 or 4 years ban, we will welcome it.
    Ok, tell me, if you are not a Nigerian or not living in Nigeria:
    1. Why should one camera be used to film local league matches for Nigerians who appreciate the beauty of European football filming?
    2. Where are all the stadiums the Nigerian Government spent fortunes renovating for FIFA competitions, why do the lie fallow, disintegrating, while we use bad pitches to play our league matches?
    3.What is the true average age of Nigeria players in age grade competition? (You would shed tears if you know the true age)
    4. what percentage of true below 25 years players, leave our league to ply their trade outside?
    5. Why did the Glenn Hoodle reject the NFF appointment, think the inflated sign on announcement to the public is a new thing?
    6. Are administrators events managers or development planners? because that is what the NFF is.
    7. Why do local league players have to pay their local coaches money to feature in league matches?
    8.Why do local Nigerian referees collect bribe to swing matches and why has FIFA not allowed one single Nigerian referee to handle one of their high profile matches?
    9. Why do FIFA allow Nigerians play overage players in age grade competition, why the MRI testing was not used again?
    I wont ask non-Nigerians all the questions we in Nigerians know the answers to, but i want them to know one thing, "if FIFA has an idea of a federation that should be independent and handle their affairs independently, and they stay in Zurich to say the NFF is one of this federation and so should be allowed to do what the want, we will sacrifice playing football forever.
    We will rather the NFF don't exist for eternity and Nigeria not participate in any football competition forever. That is how far our resolve would go to get our football planning, development and future on track.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    Nigeira is a shame to African Football. I wish Fifa suspends Nigeria for further 6 years.

  • Comment number 41.

    It's a stupid decision. Nigeria didn't actually do that badly, drawing one and losing the other two by the odd goal. They could just as easily have won these games if they had had a bit of luck. They only lost 1-0 to Argentina, which isn't a bad result, as most teams lose to them, Argentina might even win the World Cup.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nigeria didn't do badly and suspending the team from competition is just plain daft. How are thy going to improve by doing that?

    It's typical of the tinpot culture of Africa - if the leader of any first world nation tried to do that he would be told where to go and would not remain leader for long.

    In these countries football is often a way of diverting the attention of the people away from their miserable lot in life, so failure is a political threat and this suspension is a way of diverting attention away from himself.

  • Comment number 43.

    This decision is going to take Nigerian football back by at least 20 years.How can you assess the quality of your team in isolation? How are you going to build a new team when you do not play against other teams in a competitive setting?
    While admitting that the Nigerian FA is populated by a bunch of incompetent and greedy fat cats,throwing away the baby with the bath water is not going to solve anything.
    A better and more reasonable solution would have been to form a new team from the under 20s and give the coach TWO years to create a new team,while the police could have been used to prosecute the corrupt FA officials.
    While I wish Nigerian football well,I must say it doesn't look good because they are courting a hefty fine and an equally hefty ban.I heard about shooting ones self in the foot,but this......

  • Comment number 44.

    Can someone tell Jonathan Goodluck that football is one of the least problems in Nigeria.Can someone also tell him that irrespective of whether they win or loose, football gives Nigerians something to look foward to. The citizens live in a country of government inflicted poverty and one of their sources of happiness is football, now rather than the president focusing on improving the living standard of Nigerians, he has become so power freak to ban the country for two years.This is what i call 'MISPLACEMENT OF PRIORITY'and it's a symbol of leadership without direction. In case he needs some tips, a football team performing below expectation has two options of disolving the management or the entire squad, not banning them for two years which has nothing to do with performance.Our problem has always been curruption.Curruption gives way for players not calpable of playing to play.If Nigeria had players as good as Ronaldinho and Adraino of Brazil,they would have been at the top of the list of 23, but they didn't make it to South Africa because Brazil would rather play footballers and not names.What was Kanu Nwankwo doing in world cup in the first place. Nigeria is a country of about 180million people and there are too many young players out there looking for a chance to proove they are better than Lionell Messi,but we depend so much on 75yrs old Kanu and 66yrs old Yakubu who couldn't score in an empty net.
    Does Goodluck understand football,the answer is no,does he have something to make that country a better place to live,no. Please get rid of him,he is just as bad as Obasanjo,anyway birds of the same feather flocks together and thats is why Nigeria has always been in the persimism of ever changing for better.

  • Comment number 45.

    @ Ghana_K, you are a gem. You are really intelligent. I am sure, you must be one of the advisers of President Goodluck Jonathan. I did not think in your direction while being happy with the President's decision. But afer reading your posting, I found the technicalities in the decision which you saw. That is, FIFA prohibits government interference in the running of the Football Associations or Federation. So, what the Nigerian Government did was to suspend Nigeria's participation in any international competition. What that means is that the NFF stays, but no activities for them. That means, teacher and Principal staying but no students to teach. In that case, the is no NFF and yet no interference in the Football Federaion. I hope FIFA sees it from the way you see it. The technicalities of the decision of President Jonathan.

    Yes, 20% of the African representation made it through, just liek European 20% representation.

    I wish Cameroun Authorities would take the same decision to clean up Cameroun football from the same mess. I also wish Senegal would do the same. The whole of Sub-Saharan big footballing nations should do the same, pull out, take stock, weed out the anti-progressive people in football, get young players as Ghana did, get proper and fit people to manage football and then we might be close to upto 3 African teams making the semi-final of 2014 world cup and an African team playing in a final.

    I am proud of the youths team Ghana presented. It shows the zeal and capabilities of an average African. That those young boys, such as Ayew (Abedi Pele's son), Inkoom, Jonathan Mensah could be holding their own at the world stage, insie of their youhfullness came as a relieve to me as an African. They showed why Africa should learn to use boys in heir national teams instead of the old men Nigeria and Cameroun used during the 2010 world cup. Those old men from Nigeria and Cameroun easily got tired in the altitude, and could not stay fit in a 45 minutes half, while those Ghanaian boys are ready to play for 2 consecutive days of 90 minutes each.

    VIVA Ghana.Pray that they go past Uraguay on Friday.

    Let us hope that Nigerian football bounces back after this drastic and best decision and lessons learnt by the NFF and hope Cameroun takes the same drastic measures to get its football back (and rid itself of the effect of Eto's big shoes which did not help the Cameroun preparation from the world cup).

  • Comment number 46.

    On a general footing we all know that any corruption in sport should be swiftly and firmly dealt with. Surely any sovereign government would be right in taking action against this type of activity within its own borders.

    I have no knowledge of the particular Nigeria situation but FIFA should await the outcome of any internal investigation (providing it is thorough, fair, and quickly forthcoming) and only when the facts emerge should their role in this issue come into play.

    The wider implications that government should not “ govern “ sport is another issue entirely, and one that, in this instance, is within FIFA’s purview. Most sports require an independent governing body from the executive, but also on the presumption that those running sport will do it with integrity and applying the rules laid down that all must follow. A departure from those rules obviously deserves whatever sanction those rules prescribe. The government intervention in Nigeria is presumably why FIFA is considering the matter.

    What we have however is a two headed serpent for the Nigerian government. Take some form of action, in this case impose a 2 year suspension, and in doing so incur a similar type suspension from FIFA. Their view must be that any FIFA sanction merely rubber stamps what they have already done and renders it largely without teeth.

    Not referring to Nigeria specifically, on past history it remains to be seen whether an African government succeeds in truly dealing with implications of those in high places abusing their positions for financial gain.

    I think, in passing, that it is a sad condemnation on our attitude towards sport that not winning a prize, when only one can inevitably win, should be a recipe for draging down those who have represented you. Irrespective of their performance I think it is highly reprehensible. Lets temper justice with mercy.

  • Comment number 47.

    For the first time, a concrete step is taken on Nigeria football by the authorities.

    The entire world cup activities of Nigeria is only a conduit to siphone money into the pocket of corrupt NFF officials and some politicians (who obviously cash in on the windfall).

    By any standard, Nigeria should be able to produce one of the best team in the world but alas! this is not the case, rather while France and UK are seriously investigating their outings in South Africa; the Nigerian team and NFF simply walk away! People even praise the eagles after loosing to Argentina!

    Let FIFA ban Nigeria, we will serve out the ban after which we will come back, play our own type of Nigeria superb football to the joy and prosperity of the Nigeria fans (at least people will not be dying because of Yakubu like misses or some other erratic behavior on the part of footballers who think they are doing Nigeria a favor by playing football)

  • Comment number 48.

    A good end to a bad rubbish. I opine the suspension should be extended to other sports and presiding associations as well as the country as a whole. Nigeria is a total failure

  • Comment number 49.

    Why Nigeria Is Shunning FIFA – PTF

    Stories by George Akpayen ,Snr Correspondent, Lagos (Daily Independent Newspaper)

    Members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) have declared that the presidency did not disband the Super Eagles neither did it dissolve the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as being misconstrued by followers of the game in the country.

    One of the members of the task force on the Mundial, Colonel Abdulmumini Aminu (rtd), explained that the presidency did not disband the team neither did it dissolve the Nigerian FA.

    “It is not disbanding but a total withdrawal from all FIFA international competitions for two years. Nobody is dissolving the NFA since their tenure has come to an end and a new board has to take over. I think it is a good decision for the country because it will bring cleansing to the system.

    “Remember that Ghana did the same thing and by the time they came back we have seen the results for them. They have won the Under-20 World Cup, and now they are the only African team at the World Cup and who knows they might even go beyond the quarter-finals. What we have done is to try and re-organise our house,” said the former Borno State governor.

    However, Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, gave a preamble to the root of the crisis in Nigeria’s football saying that it is due to lack of proper structural plan.

    He also opines that the West African nation would have the chance to look inward to rebuild for the future.

    “We had all sorts of maladministration,” Amaechi said. “We found out that the problem with Nigerian football is structural. The withdrawal will enable the country to look inward to find a solution.”

    Amaechi also offered that the choice of withdrawing the country’s national team from international football for 48 months would save Nigerians from further heartache.

    “The nation has been punished enough. People have had heart attacks because of Nigerian football,” said the PTF chairman.

    Another PTF member, John Fashanu, hailed the president and the Rivers’ governor for their roles in taking the difficult situation of putting the country in football wilderness for the next two years.

  • Comment number 50.

    @fabulousRedsReds - President Goodluck J has done a reverse psycho on FIFA. Since the government is barred from touching the FA what use will the FA be if Nigeria is no longer involved in international football sanctioned by FIFA? Can there be a school without students? Sepp Blatter can recall the executives to FIFA HQ and give them jobs there. The Ghana FA is not clean either and it's only a matter of time.

    Whey are born in Africa to African parents, get into politics and rise to president with a name like Mr. Johathan Goodluck, it raises questions of authenticity. But authenticity is present on more levels than that. Looks to me that those playing for African sides, who are born and raised elsewhere e.g Odemwinge, Assou-Ekkoto, Andre Ayew, Kevin Boateng etc play their hears out to prove their authenticity to themselves, maybe - while Yakubu and Martins can't be bothered. While there is nothing much to a name, it is surprising that Kevin Boateng does his thing for Ghana with fire and desire, while the president of the biggest African country prefferes to be called Jonathan Goodluck. And Mr. Goodluck has got his priorities absolutely heads down and feet up. Of all the things on his plate, football should come last, maybe second last in competing for his attention..

  • Comment number 51.

    We got beat, we're taking our ball away and we're not playing any more.

    That's what this is, when you take out the political mechanics of it all.

    Anyone who thinks that any country should propose this for their national football team just because of disappointment at the World Cup is utterly insane.

    You don't improve by suspending yourself from national team competition! It's an absurdity.

  • Comment number 52.

    Andy Ateli post 44....i concur with your submission.....we like solving problems by addressing peripherals instead of attacking the root.All we have left is football, the government has done its best to choke football, but it survived despite the government rather than because of it. Now they want to literally kill the lovely sport that gives us joy, that takes our minds away from the dilapidation in the Nigeria society..

  • Comment number 53.

    This is a very bad move by the Nigerian govt which might make things even worse. It might get them suspended from football (by FIFA and CAF) for even longer.

  • Comment number 54.

    Guys, guys, guys. Some of you are missing the point of the withdrawal from international football.

    The team is doing bad is a small issue to be honest it is the catalyst in this decision, the government couldn't care less about that. It is due to the NFF (equivalent to FA of England) they have been deemed as corrupt squandering millions even billions of Nigerian taxpayers money. The Sports Minister went to FIFA in order to get authority to disband the NFF but FIFA wouldn't allow it. He even asked if Blatter could keep the $8 Million dollars in which FIFA is supposed to give nations participating in the world cup, as part of it will go into the pockets of members of the NFF.

    Goodluck Jonothan asked the president of the NFF to resign, but he refused.

    So the only thing he could do was to ban the team from itnernational football (removing them from FIFA) and now allowing them to probe the NFF without any FIFA opposition.

    With the amount of taxpayers money spent on the team, it is a drastic step which had to be made especially in a country in which does not have continuous electricity yet, football is not on the top of its agenda.
    There has been corruption charges based on hiring of coaches (Research Glenn Hoddle's claims) millions has mysteriously vanished into thin air from the NFF.

    So the agenda now would be simply:

    - Re-structure the NFF (bringing new members - most likely ex footballers who are passionate about football) outside the world of FIFA
    - Once they have investigated corruption allegations, they should report their findings to FIFA. And if succesful reapply to FIFA.

    However this 2 year ban could be all be but a mere memory if the president of the NFF simply resigns, but he would not do such a thing; as at the moment he has nothing to lose.

    If he resigns he loses his job and will still be investigated for corruption
    If he stays he loses his job and will still be investigated for corruption (Although Nigeria will not feature in football, African mentality is not like that if we see the former French FA president resigned immediately)

  • Comment number 55.

    The real motivation behind this decision is political. The Nigerian government claim that they're taking drastic action in order to gain political support from disgruntled fans. In the meantime, they stuff the new governing body with political cronies in order to reward them for their support. Then the new board members petition FIFA for leniency on the grounds that they didn't really do what they did (if you see what I mean).
    Obviously from a footballing or governance perspective, it's ridiculous and embarrassing.

  • Comment number 56.

    The problem is that FIFA doesn't allow interference by governments but is also unable (or unwilling) to do anything about corruption within a national federation. Apart from suspension which is likely to happen here anyway.

    I'd of like to of seen the Nigerian Government consult FIFA and agree a course of action for the benefit of Nigerian football. The current situation will help no-one.

  • Comment number 57.

    An interesting aspect to this story is FIFA's insistence that politics should not interfere with football.

    Man Yoo + UK Gov - FA Cup = World Club Championship.

    I think FIFA should ban themselves from football for a couple of years.

  • Comment number 58.

    @Heavens2Murgatroyd, the Nigerian sports minister did seek help from FIFA, but they stated there is nothing they can do, that there is going to be a re-election. But this is just wasting time as the same group of people have bought their seats to be re-elected as leaders of the NFF.

  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

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

  • Comment number 61.

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  • Comment number 62.


    I don't get the point with the president's name. I have a feeling he did not choose that name but it was given to him by his parents.

    Should he now feel like a second class citizen or not authentic because he does not have an african name?

    Don't blame him. Ask his parents.

  • Comment number 63.

    How comes North Korea hasn't been suspended by FIFA for government interferance? Does anyone truly believe their Football Association is independent of the government?

  • Comment number 64.

    Our dear president Jonathan might say he wants to save Nigerians some heartache by this decision,what a naive decision by a man am now so sure doesnt know the country he's governing. Win or lose,football gives Nigerians something to look forward to. Let someone please tell Mr President that he is taking away a big part of his country's joy.He's shooting himself in the leg because they can now focus on his own failures.He had better look for ways of disbanding this current team and cleanse our football without this rash decision. Cutting off the head is not the cure for headache!

  • Comment number 65.

    Before imposes the ban as well, they should learn that in many developing countries, certainly in many parts of subsaharan africa; government should have some sort of "right" to interfere in the matters of the football many cases the government is the biggest source of funds(meagre though they might be) that run the sports associations. Now if the government feels that the association is not performing, then they should be able to take some form of measured action.

  • Comment number 66.

    Just a point of correction here: Nigeria withdrew from the South Africa 96 nations cup because the Eagles were ejected from the pre-nations cup tournament then (due to the killings), and not because of a mere critizism from Mandela.

  • Comment number 67.

    Before fifa imposes the ban as well, they should learn that in many developing countries, certainly in many parts of subsaharan africa; government should have some sort of "right" to interfere in the matters of the football many cases the government is the biggest source of funds(meagre though they might be) that run the sports associations. Now if the government feels that the association is not performing, then they should be able to take some form of measured action.

  • Comment number 68.

    This Goodluck fella is the biggest clown i have seen in a while. how is this suspension supposed to help us? is like your child does not do well in school and you suspend him from going to school for 2 years. it's the action of a person who does not think through things. Since suspension is his idea of how to solve problems, I look forward to more suspensions? Are the doctors not on strike now?- suspend all hospitals for 2 years.
    roads are bad? - suspend all travel for 2 years
    electricity supply is erratic? - suspension
    this is just insane

  • Comment number 69.


    I don't get the point with the president's name. I have a feeling he did not choose that name but it was given to him by his parents.

    Should he now feel like a second class citizen or not authentic because he does not have an african name?

    Don't blame him. Ask his parents

    Neither do I get the bit about such names. A name is not a t-shirt so that you can chose 90% cotton or 100% cotton. It is meant to represent your heritage and ancestry. His parents must be too senior to have contemplated changing their name and giving their son a name made of a couple of made-up words in English. Honestly the name sounds like a joke and I think that he made it up himself. Call me old school but I do have respect for the names and what they represent. Olusegun Obasanjo, for example - no idea what it means but is at least sounds cool if nothing else.

  • Comment number 70.

    Thanks Mr President, about time something is done for the good and future of Nigeria Football. This should be the start of the cleanup process.

    The Super Eagles deserved to be disbanded and suspended for the next 2 years if that is what it would take to build a new team based on pride & full committment.... It has being pretty obvious for a few years now that the players lacked the committment & desire to play for the nation. Most of the time these players don't even bother to turn up to training camps & when they do they think they are lords. To be really honest, it is no secret that most of them are way too old to continue playing for the country, hence this a step in the right way...

    The next step is to disband the NFF, all through this sorry case of a world cup journey they have badly let down the nation... Here are a few catalogue of some of their failures - Sacking the coach (i.e. Amodu) with just a few months to the tournament (why not sack him months before the nations cup - this would have provided Lagerback with enough time to build a team). There was also lack of adequate preparation for the tournament (i.e. constant cancelling of friendies & training camps), Locating the team's based at sea level (despite know that we are playing 2 of our matches at high altitute), taking lots of unneccessary officials to the final hence wasting valuable money, paying fake agents to arrange the team's friendies (Westham debacle comes to mind), stampede at Nigeria-North Korea friendly.... Paying fake agents to organise the teams flight from UK to SA, cancelling of the original base (hence incuring a large bill), attempting to bribe Hoddle... All these happened prior to the final (there are lots of cockup thoughout qualifying as well).... Hence these officials have to go (we need to wipe the slate clean and start afresh).

    Finally I think the Govt should challenge fifa's stance, It is ridculous to say the least, the Govt/Country pays the salary of these NFF officials yet fifa doesn't want the same Govt to have the right to question their performance or sack them when they are lacking in their duties..... If Fifa wants an independent body separate from the Govt then they should foot their salaries & Expense..... I really hope the President goes ahead & disband both the Super Eagles & the NFF, and sue FIFA to the international court of sport, if & when they do ban us.... Someone needs to challenge FIFA & set a precedence (remember the free transfer rule, it was was challenged successfully).

  • Comment number 71.


  • Comment number 72.


    Your comment is quite, I don't even know how to put it.
    His name was given to his parents based on their ambitions for him.

    And so far it has served him well. He is president of a country of over 150m inhabitants and it was unfortunately due to the death of a ex-president.

    People in Nigeria are named Sunday, Monday etc i.e Sunday Oliseh maybe due to them being born on that day, or based on religious beliefs there are many justifiable reasons to why a person has a name and as humans we must respect others.

  • Comment number 73.

    "Goodluck Jonathan" is top draw as an artist name, which I think it is. The good president must have an authentic name as well, just to separate the person from the persona..

  • Comment number 74.

    56. At 1:26pm on 01 Jul 2010, Heavens2Murgatroyd wrote:

    The problem is that FIFA doesn't allow interference by governments but is also unable (or unwilling) to do anything about corruption within a national federation. Apart from suspension which is likely to happen here anyway.

    I'd of like to of seen the Nigerian Government consult FIFA and agree a course of action for the benefit of Nigerian football. The current situation will help no-one.

    Heavens2Murgatroyd how can a sovereign nation consult Fifa for its internal issues. Is Fifa a sub-body of the UN? Some of the comments here about Fifa being supreme is quite laughable. Any government has the right to uphold the rule of law around its borders. The Nigerian government has taken a decision due to the rot in running football in the country which every Nigerian who kows some history about this will no that this is a necessary move. This is not just about this WC, its the cummulation of what has been hapenning for the ppast 10-15 years. Successive governments have spent monet on numerous stadia around the country via host Fifa age group competitions & Caf competitions as well as other funding to develop football in the country, and this cannot be accounted for. Did Fifa ask the NFF/NFA to show any audits, NO, why, cos its a national issue which they have no right to.
    We have a lot of rot not just in football but in all sporting activities in Nigeria, which is quite shamefull. For Example, Jamaica has not justt overtaking us in Athletics, but now top the world, we were better than them some 10 years back. Let this governmnet start with football, then subsequently other sports should follow. Our politics may be bad, but our talents should be the one thing that we have pride in

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    i think what the super eagles need, is a coach to stay with them for a while, buiild up the team, get them to play the way he wants, get the mix right between the homebased and the foreign based players. it isn't just enough to have players, it is about working with them. the last time Nigeria had a decent team was after westerhof had done the ground work for a while, and bonfere jo, capitalised on that.
    look at spain, they have always had good players, but it took a manager like Luis Aragones to work with them for a while before they could start competing for anything.

  • Comment number 77.

    Yes, FIFA may have a role in football governing bodies but African governments are quick to make senseless decisions. President Good Lack, sorry President Good Luck needs to wait and observe what the French and English will do to their teams before shooting the mosquito with the gun.
    He might learn more from them and do likewise.

    Nigeria paid Amodou low to pull the Eagles into the world cup and paid the current coach high to pull them out. What a bad business plan.

    Well, all the same Good luck need to be happy for Nigeria being advertised for free at the world cup not for any bad thing again but good cause. It may cost about one third of the nations GNP to showcase Nigeria to the world on international TV for over four hours.
    So do not lack a good decision, president.

  • Comment number 78.

    I think that Nigeria has a bright future because of the sheer numbers of children of Nigerian heritage born and raised in Europe in the last 10-15 years. I'll tell you that these kids fell more Nigerian than anyone you can think of, and will play their hearts out for Nigeria. At the same time they come without the local political and social baggage. Look at Kevin Boateng, Odemwinge, Assou-Ekotto, Sarpei, Freddy Kanuote and even Andre Ayew. These boys give their best..

  • Comment number 79.

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

  • Comment number 80.

    FIFA's latest threat to ban or expel Nigeria's football association due to government interference and an earlier veiled threat to France when its president Sarkozy got involved in its early exit from South Africa 2010 is a nonsense and absurd.
    Government's around the world are heavily involved in their national FA's in one way or another. Being based in the Arabian Gulf, Middle East many of the regional associations are controlled and run by members of the ruling families or members of the ruling elite if they are presidential nations.
    Does anyone honestly believe that the regime that runs North Korea doesn't have a say in how its football federation is run?
    Get a grip Mr Blatter and FIFA and join the real world.

  • Comment number 81.

    By the 2-year ban, Nigerian president, Jonathan Goodluck, is playing poker with FIFA Sett Blatter. The reality is that this is a point of negotiation. Nigeria will continue to participate in international events, however, without the current deadheads in the football federation.

    There is enough meat on the table to entrap and convict the Chairman, Lulu and the rest of the memebers . I agree the decision was rather drastic, however, a step in the right direction. This is the ONLY language the federation understands. Can't wait till they are rounded up and banished from the face of this EARTH.

    Did you notice how spiteful and remorseless Lulu is? In the face of the disgrace in South Africa, he proceeded to offering Largerback another 4-year term. This demonstrates a medical disorder, I await the report from his pathologist, after the fact.

  • Comment number 82.

    Surely FIFA does not condone curruption. if you can prove to FIFA that there is curruption, FIFA will take a stand.... To deny Nigerians football that they love so much is UNGODLY and UNLUCKY! Do not deny us because our teams have had some success even with the low that we are in!

  • Comment number 83.

    This quite frankly is the most ridiculous decision GJ could have ever come up with.Just rash.He wants Nigerian football to put its house in order?Thats a laugh.Thats not going to happen in 20 years let alone 2.Corruption is rife in the NFF and is the practically part of the constitution.The Nigerian league?A league where referees are routinely beaten up?Where an away win is almost banned?Where referees afraid for their lives routinely award 97th minute penalties for the home side and where there is an away win the visiting team has to sleep in a police station because the home fans go around town looking for the away side?
    This ban is not going to achieve anything.He should just sack the NFF and install people who actually know what football and football admin is all about.I lived there for 6 years and there are a lot of people who know what to do but because they dont have political friends they are shoved aside.
    Hope Jonathan changes his mind but doubt it!

  • Comment number 84.

    Well if this is such a poor decision (judging by the posts of certain people here), how come the majority of Nigerians applaud the move?

  • Comment number 85.

    Now this might be the beginning of the disintegration of FIFA if they don't take care
    FIFA's law of "non interference" is obnoxious and high-handed. Just like their outdate 'no go area' with goal line technology.

    Many countries are frustrated with FIFA already. There is no way EFCC can take on NFF effectively without attracting FIFA's hammer. Blatter has a penchant for protecting his votes at all cost.

    Let FIFA and CAF come up with whatever additional ban they can think of.

    There is no law anywhere in the world that says a group of countries cannot come together and form there another football association. It has happened before in Boxing.

    I for one propose: FIKA - Federation of International Kickball Association.

    The new name of the beautiful game will henceforth be called KICKBALL

    Nigeria, France, Italy maybe England and many more countries may become the pioneer members

  • Comment number 86.

    We’re entering a new feudal age, with certain powerful international bodies and multinationals acting as feudal lords, and us fans/consumers enslaved as neo-serfs by our addiction to their products. ;)

  • Comment number 87.

    The Nigerian President would have been better off insisting that they play TWICE as many games over the next few years rather than just giving all their European-based players and their greedy clubs a nice break from international football.

  • Comment number 88.

    Nigeria's decision to withdraw from international football may be rather too rash but should serve as a wake-up call on FIFA to review the so-called 'government interference'. In Nigeria, and most African countries, the government foots the entire bill of football with tax payers' money while a few football administrators mismanage such funds. This has always resulted in embarrassments on and off the pitch leaving the masses heart-broken at every tournament. If the Nigeria government had not 'interfered' by setting up a Presidential Task Force, the national team would not have qualified for the 2010 world cup. It was also by government 'interference' that the Super Eagles were transported to the 2010 world cup after being grounded at London. The next Nigeria FA elections have already been skewed to return the incumbents under the watchful eyes of FIFA. Is it not proper that he who pays the piper should have a say in the tune?

  • Comment number 89.

    I got an email today from someone in the Nigerian FA asking me to help transfer $20 million out of the country, if I sent along my bank account details. So this new policy is already working! :)

  • Comment number 90.

    So there's outrage from Blatter, (unelected by Nigerians) that Nigeria's(elected) president is making decisions in their country?

  • Comment number 91.

    FIFA has always protected corrupt FAs by this rule.When FAs cannot finance their activities, they dont run to FIFA but to same government that should not have a say on how her scarce resources are looted by corrupt FA officials. If FIFA could be quick to place sanctions for Government interference, why can't FIFA help those corrupt FA's to be financially independent from government? Or is FIFA also getting some cuts from the loots thereby protecting them from opening the can of worms? I think that rule is absurd! By the way, I used to think BBC is the best media in the northern hemisphere by their noise, the article I read here is full of errors or should I say typos.

  • Comment number 92.

    Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater! Maybe Mr. President and his advisers are unaware that the team that went to the World Cup in 1994 took over six years to assemble. In that period they played international matches and in some of them they were quite abysmal. But the Vice President then bought into the manager's vision and gave his total support to the project. Pray, how does the new team test its strength if they don't play? Strange indeed are the ways of Nigerian politicians.

  • Comment number 93.

    The government in Nigeria has done far worse than the super eagles. No electricity, dysfunctional hospitals, large scale unemployment etc. The only thing that has thrived is daylight robbery perpetuated by the politicians and their cronies. They are busy planning on spending 10 billion Naira on celebrating 50 years of national folly.
    'Sorry sorry oh' as Femi Kuti would say. The only thing that pains me as they go along destroying what is left of our national pride 'my people go dey follow follow'

  • Comment number 94.

    Breaking news:

    Nigerian lawmakers intervened Thursday (today) to try to stave off possible exile from world football.

    The House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on the president to rescind the ban, while also asking a legislative committee to follow the French example and open an investigation into the World Cup performance.

    "Don’t we have a student of history in the PTF who could harness the damage done in the 1996 pull out though for a different reason but it brings about the same result."

  • Comment number 95.

    When I was growing up in Nigeria in the 70s and 80s, the EPL was for pool betters. Teams and players were home-grown. Local football was strong. I hear that no one watches the local league anymore in Nigeria. There is no local content in the national senior team and those so-called professionals are not as good as those they compete against. There is serious decay and it is so obvious.

    While I would normally condemn the President's move (and I did), more serious thought about the level of corruption and mismanagement by the NFF reveals something has to give. The government pays for the the national team; so it should have a voice. FIFA's powers should have some limits. What has FIFA done in North Korea? It is also a corrupt organization that needs to fix itself first.

    There is need to probe the affairs of the NFF. If the officials have stolen money (and I bet they have), FIFA's laws are not superior to the laws of Nigeria. The NFF is not above the rule of law. Jonathan's action may be wrong, but I don't know any other way by which the problem can be tackled, to be honest. He lives in the den of thieves and he knows what to do. Don't think he has not already given FIFA's potential ban a thought.

    And for those who complain about Jonathan's name, have they ever wondered why people get names like Bush, Brown, Green or Rooney? What has the name to do with it? If his name is Bing or Google, that's his family's business not yours!

    If Nigeria is expelled, so be it. Something has to be done about the corruption, the death of local football, the decay of football infrastructure, the bribery, the scandals, the lack of perfomance. If Nigeria is investing public money in sports, it deserves to get some results or force any required action. Otherwise, FIFA should sponsor the national team henceforth and ensure they perform.

  • Comment number 96.

    @boliatepa and others with similar views and foresight

    Well done for highlighting the obvious to many delude Nigerians and foreigners alike.

    This latest situation does not come as a surprise and is long overdue.
    I am not sure how football UNITES NIGERIANS,because if it does then that same "UNITY" will gradually have filtered down to other more serious problems in Nigeria.

    Karma is something amny people laugh at but it does happen. Many Nigerians where happy at the UNFAIR REMOVAL OF SHAIBU AMODU despute securing world qualifications in 2002 and 2010 but subsequent ANC third place finish. Nigerians performance at the 2002 and 2010 shows the futility of that execise by the NFF spured on by GREED and DELUDED NIGERIAN FANS.

    Quite frankly FIFA can take whatever decision the want. The NFF was a corrupt,incompetent and unpatriotic group of individuals whose cup I sincerly hope is now full. All I am interested in is seeing NIGERIANS AT ALL LEVELS GIVEN 100% SUPOORT BY THE NFF,FG AND MOST IMPORTANT WE THE FANS.FOREIGNERS ARE NOT NEEDED. FOTBALL IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. We need to stop being in a hurry for everything,STOP CORRUPTION and be patient.


  • Comment number 97.

    People are actually entitle to their opinion. However, I will like those who are both profesionals and university graduate among all who have call Jonathan names to please come to Nigeria and practice for one year only, then I will want to hear their opinion on what Jonathan just did.

    What people must not fail to understand is that billions of tax payer's money has been prevented from going into the pockets of some individual by the singular action taken by the president, YES football is among issues that should attract the attention of Mr. president beacause lots of taxpayer's money goes into it unlike in other places where private investment in football is the 'in thing'.

    Did somebody said Nigerian lawmakers passed a resolution asking Jonathan to rescind his decision? What do you expect from lawmakers who beat each other to pulp in front of Camera instead of speedily and effectively considering bills that will benefit the Nigerian populace?

  • Comment number 98.

    And for those who complain about Jonathan's name, have they ever wondered why people get names like Bush, Brown, Green or Rooney? What has the name to do with it? If his name is Bing or Google, that's his family's business not yours!

  • Comment number 99.

    Seriously why do government gets involved with football why dont they stick to more important issues that involved the country not football dont they have crimes and ecomonic problems to do deal with not minor issues like football,

    Yes i can understnad nigeria had a poor showing but it doesnt mean you have to band them thats an absurd thing to do, if fifa do band them they derserve it

  • Comment number 100.

    Nigerians generally have lost fate in its national team even before the 2010 World Cup started. However, they started regaining confidence in the Lars Lagerback tutored side after their hard-fighting 1-0 lost to Argentina, only to crash out after losing 2-1 to Greece and a 2-2 draw with South Korea respectively.

    The generality of Nigerians have at one time or the other expressed their displeasure at the governance of the nation's footballing body (NFF) and the performance of its teams at the international level and have suggested a general overhauling of the system.

    The interest in the local league have being on a geometric decline, which have made football fans either turn to the much-fancied English Premier League or Italian Serie A, Germany's Bundesliga and so on. Corruption in the NFF's system is also another grey area, which is visible in most of the results of the local league matches clearly making referees to favour home teams which have offered them bribes.

    After a dismal performance by the Super 'Chickens' of Nigeria at the World Cup, obviously everyone expects that the big stick will be wielded, but President Goodluck Jonathan's two year ban is a bitter pill to swallow, because am not sure Nigerians have realised the repercussion of this action, but I totally agree something drastic have to be done, like allowing professionals to run the nation's NFF, capacity building of coaches and officials, going back to the grassroots and making our local league more interesting and attractive.

    While I 'partially' agree with the decision of President Jonathan, I don't think Nigerians will not like to particate at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women World Cup holding this month, 2010 FIFA U-17 Women World Cup and the 2012 African Nations Cup.


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