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2011-09-07
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2010-07-01:2010 W/CUP FALLOUT: FG bans Eagles for 2 years

•To audit NFF’s accounts

•We’re yet to be informed -

FOLLOWING the uninspiring performance of the Super Eagles in the ongoing World Cup in South Africa, the Federal Government has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the country from all international football tournaments organised by FIFA and related events for two years to enable the country to properly reorganise the sector.

The decision was communicated to State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Communication, Mr. Ima Niboro, who revealed that it was the outcome of a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the Presidential Task Force on 2010 World Cup.

The decision followed a recommendation to the president by the Presidential Task Force headed by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

Mr. Niboro revealed that the president had also approved the auditing of all funds expended by the country during the tournament, saying “President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraw from international competition for two years to enable the country to put its house in order.”

The presidential spokesman indicated that all those found culpable at the end of the account audit would be brought to book.

Also speaking, Governor Amaechi revealed that there were problems with the participation of the Super Eagles in the competition, which apparently led to their ouster in the first round, adding “our recommendation is based on what is on the ground. We went to the World Cup and found all sorts of problems and we felt we should sit back and look inward”.

Flanked by other members of the task force, Governor Amaechi disclosed that Nigeria would write to the football ruling body to formally inform it of the country’s decision.

“We will formally write FIFA to say that Nigeria won't engage in international football competition,” he said, adding that the decision had nothing to do with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

While lamenting the poor performances of the country in various international football competitions in recent times and stressing the need to do something to stem the trend, Governor Amaechi added:

“you cannot have tumour and continue to massage it with all the blood.”

Meanwhile, activities at the secretariat of the NFF in Abuja, grinded to a halt after the news from the presidency filtered in.

Efforts to get officials to react proved abortive as nobody was prepared to make any comment.

However, FIFA has reacted to the Nigerian situation, stating that  government interference with national teams is strictly forbidden.

"At the time of writing, we have no official information on this matter," a FIFA statement read.
"However, in general, FIFA's position regarding political interference in football is well known. Our statutes do not allow for any political interference."

Nigeria risks their national and club teams, plus referees, being banned from all international competitions  and their officials would not be allowed to attend meetings or events.

Nigeria was set to begin their bid to qualify for the 2012 African Nations Cup finals in September against Madagascar.

Source:Nigerian Tribune

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