While the glory of the 2010 World Cup competition resumes on Friday for the remaining eight nations, the fallout of defeat is emerging from those who made the early trip home. Namely, Nigeria. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended the Nigerian national soccer team from international play for two years as a result of their poor performance in South Africa, as well as other recent failures. Nigeria finished at the bottom of group B, drawing with South Korea and losing to Argentina and Greece. Here is what Nigerian Sports Minister Ibrahim Isa had to say:
“The government has taken a decision we believe is in the interests of Nigeria that we should for now, withdraw from international competition because our football since 1996 seems not to be growing … The president Goodluck Jonathan has endorsed this decision and the Nigerian people are excited about it.
The Nigerian people are excited about having their national team suspended from competition? OK … And one slight potential problem: FIFA regulations prohibit national governments from interfering in the affairs of national football federations. FIFA officials have yet to act but Nigerian lawmakers have already attempted to intervene, passing a resolution calling on President Jonathan to rescind the ban. FIFA is currently reviewing the situation before it takes any action. Nigerian national team member Dickson Etuhu had this to add: