Nigeria ban rescinded

05 July 2010 07:01

The Nigerian government have rescinded their decision to ban the national football team from all competitions, just ahead of a FIFA deadline.

FIFA had threatened to suspend and even expel the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) due to government interference, as well as withholding the US Dollars 8million due to the association from the World Cup.

However, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been convinced to change his mind and a statement on the NFF's website read: "The President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on Monday graciously rescinded last Wednesday's decision to withdraw Nigerian national football teams from FIFA/CAF football competitions."

The statement continued: "The decision was made known at the presidential villa on Monday evening as President Jonathan hearkened to the passionate appeals of top officials of the National Sports Commission, the Nigeria Football Federation, other concerned organs of government and well-meaning Nigerians on the matter."

The key to solving the situation appears to have been a meeting of the NFF's executive committee which led to nine officials, including their president Sani Lulu and vice-president Amanze Uchegbulam, being sacked.

FIFA had earlier written to the NFF, warning that they would be suspended if the Nigerian government had not backed down by the close of business on Monday.

The NFF were told the first effect would be World Cup prize money being withheld, and that Nigeria would be banned from next year's women's World Cup and replaced by South Africa.

Source: PA