FIFA gives Nigeria ultimatum

Friday, July 2, 2010

Johannesburg - FIFA has directed the Nigerian government to "cancel" its decision to suspend its national team from international competitions for two years or face a possible sanction.

This follows a decision by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to suspend the national team from participating in international competition for two years following their poor showing at the World Cup in South Africa.

FIFA spokesperson Nicolas Maingot told reporters on Friday that a letter had been sent to the Nigerian government calling on them to withdraw the decision until Monday, when a FIFA delegation is scheduled to visit that country for mediation efforts.

He said a delegation will be sent to Nigeria to mediate on the conflict between government and the national football association.

"I can confirm that FIFA has sent a letter to the government of Nigeria to cancel the decision to suspend their national team until Monday when a FIFA delegation visits the country. Failure to do that may lead to the suspension of NFA (Nigerian Football Association)," Maingot said.