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Monday, July 5, 2010
Nigeria attempt to stave off ban

Soccernet staff

At the end of a week where Nigeria's poor performance at the World Cup attracted a disproportionate response from the country's president, Goodluck Jonathan, it now seems likely they will be banned from all international competition by FIFA on Monday.

• Nigeria banned by president

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) were informed the move would be taken by FIFA if Jonathan did not reverse his seemingly knee-jerk decision to ban the national team from all international competition for two years following their poor performance at the World Cup.

On Sunday, the NFF fired its president, Sani Lulu, vice president Amanze Ugbulam, as well as a member of the federation's technical committee. The sackings were seen as a last-ditch manoeuvre by the NFF to get Jonathan to change his mind.

"[We] passionately appeal to the president ... to reconsider the earlier action of government to withdraw all the national football teams from CAF/FIFA competitions for two years," a statement from the NFF read. The federation also promised "to take urgent steps to address the 'maladministration' of football in the country".

While the president's ban means a suspension from FIFA would have no short-term impact on the field, it would also cut off all central grants from FIFA which would have a significant knock-on effect.

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