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Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Monday, 5 July 2010 13:55 UK

World Cup 2010: Nigeria awaits Fifa ban deadline

Greece's Vassilis Torosidis

Extended highlights - Greece 2-1 Nigeria

Nigeria will discover at 1700 BST whether they will be expelled from world football by governing body Fifa.

Fifa, which prohibits government intervention in football, will act unless the Nigerian president lifts his two-year ban on the team.

The Nigerian Football Federation's top two officials were sacked on Sunday in a bid to appease the president.

But the BBC has learned the sackings have not altered the president's decision and that the ban will remain.

The NFF has since requested a meeting to discuss the matter with President Goodluck Jonathan before Fifa's deadline passes.

NFF president Sani Lulu and vice-president Amanze Ugbulam were fired as the federation asked President Jonathan to reconsider his ban.

A Fifa spokesman said: "We have to wait until the deadline. If there is no indication or if the suspension is confirmed, we'll confirm certainly by a media release."

The NFF said the two sackings, as well as the dismissal of a member of the federation's technical committee, were carried out "to tender a resolved apology" to all Nigerians over the team's performance in South Africa, where they finished without a win and bottom of their group.

The NFF also promised "to take urgent steps to address the maladministration of football in the country".

WORLD CUP BLOG
Piers Edwards

The country's House of Representatives has passed a resolution asking the Nigerian president to reverse his order, fearing sanctions.

Jonathan's government announced on Wednesday that the NFF would be dissolved and an interim board put in place.

"President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraws from international competition for two years to enable the country to put its house in order," said special presidential adviser Ima Niboro.

However, Fifa rules clearly state that national associations can be expelled if governments are seen to be interfering with the way they operate.

"Fifa has sent a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation indicating that the government of Nigeria has until Monday at 6pm [local time] to cancel its direction to withdraw Nigeria's participation from all Fifa and Caf competitions for the next two years," said Fifa communications director Nicolas Maingot on Friday.

"Also the management committee set up by the Nigeria government will not be recognised by Fifa."

If Nigeria are suspended, the country cannot participate in competitive matches or club games in African competitions.

"A suspension goes beyond the suspension of the national teams," added Maingot. "It also freezes financial help and no referees can participate in international competition."

Fifa executive committee member and former Nigeria government minister Dr Amos Adamu will be in the country on Monday "for a last mediation attempt".

The governing body's president Sepp Blatter had already warned French president Nicolas Sarkozy of possible sanctions after he pledged to personally lead an investigation into France's acrimonious World Cup campaign.



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see also
Fifa issues Nigeria ban deadline
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nigeria president suspends team
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fifa chief warns French president
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Kanu calls time on Nigeria career
24 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africa requires overhaul - Okocha
23 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Africa's World Cup sides criticised
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Highlights - Nigeria 2-2 South Korea
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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