FIFA suspends Nigeria for "government interference"

By Evan Hilbert |

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FIFA announced Wednesday that the Nigerian Football Federation has been suspended from all international play due to "government interference."

Essentially, government leaders fired several officials in the NFF upon Nigeria's return from the World Cup. FIFA prohibits any member nation to be influenced by a third-party institution -- in this case, the Nigerian government.

According to the Associated Press, the Nigerian government blamed NFF officials for not settling player payment disputes.

"The decision follows a letter sent by FIFA to the NFF on 4 July 2014, in which it expressed its great concern after the NFF was served with court proceedings and consequently an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football was granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," FIFA said in a statement.

If the aforementioned court decision is reversed, the suspension will be lifted.

"The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn and the properly elected NFF Executive Committee, the NFF general assembly and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs," the statement reads.

If the issue is not resolved by July 15, Nigeria will not be represented at the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada next month.

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