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Nigerian FA fires its top two men in attempt to avert presidential ban
Reuters - 7 years ago

Nigeria's football federation (NFF) today overhauled its leadership and apologised for the poor state of its national team in a last-minute attempt to reverse a directive suspending it from international matches.

The president, Goodluck Jonathan, imposed the suspension last week after the embarrassing performance by the Super Eagles in the World Cup. The team were knocked out in the first round after failing to win a game.

Fifa has given Nigeria until tomorrow evening to change its decision and escape being barred from all Fifa-related activities.

A Nigerian presidency source said on Friday that the suspension would hold despite Fifa's threats. However, a communiqué from an emergency NFF executive committee meeting yesterday said: "We wish to passionately appeal to the president to reconsider the earlier decision."

The committee fired its top two leaders and offered an "unreserved apology" to the West African nation's 140 million citizens for the national team's failures.

"The leadership of the present NFF executive committee should be held responsible for the current crisis in Nigerian football," the committee said.

If the Nigerian government fails to heed Fifa's ultimatum, it risks being cut off from all Fifa activities, including junior and female competitions, and also losing Fifa funding.

A ban would also cut access to Fifa's development courses and stop the annual payment each member association receives, cash that is much needed by Nigerian football.

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