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FIFA suspends Nigeria from soccer events over political controversy

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FIFA suspends Nigeria from all international soccer, effective immediately
FIFA suspends all Nigerian soccer until country's soccer board is 'able to work without any interference'
After Nigeria dissolves its soccer board, FIFA suspends the country from international play indefinitely

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.

“The suspension will be lifted once the court actions have been withdrawn … and the NFF administration are able to work without any interference in their affairs,” read a statement from FIFA, the international governing body for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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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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