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FIFA suspends Nigeria from soccer events over political controversy

FIFA suspends Nigeria from soccer events over political controversy
A Nigeria fan covers his face with the country's green and white flag as he watches the World Cup round of 16 game against France in Lagos, Brazil. France won the game, 2-0. (Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP / Getty Images)

Nigeria has been suspended from all international soccer competition effective immediately, FIFA announced Wednesday.

The move comes less than a week after the country’s government dissolved the Nigeria Football Federation, firing its entire executive board and arresting the organization’s president, Aminu Maigari, upon his return from the World Cup in Brazil.

The government replaced the governing body with a single administrator, who immediately called an election that officially voted the soccer federation out of office Saturday.

FIFA declared the results of the election invalid, and gave Nigeria's government until Tuesday to reinstate its governing board for the sport.

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"The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn … and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs," read a statement from FIFA, the international governing body for soccer.

The suspension is effective immediately.

"As a result of this decision, no team from Nigeria of any sort (including clubs) can have an international sporting contact," the statement said.

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