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Presidency says no going back on Eagles ban

Mr Goodluck Jonathan

The presidency appears to be resolute on its decision to withdraw the Super Eagles from all FIFA organised competitions despite a 48-hour ultimatum given the country by the world football governing body to rescind the decision.

FIFA through its secretary-general, Jerome Valcke who spoke on South African TalkRadio 702 yesterday morning said Nigeria should reverse the ban or risk a ban.

“Nigeria’s government has 48 hours to reverse their decision,” said Valcke.

However, a presidency source said yesterday that the government will not reverse the decision irrespective of what FIFA says because the ban was in the best interest of the country.

“Mr President will not rescind the decision because it’s the best decision for football development in Nigeria,” a presidency source said, adding that “Mr President and his team had weighed the consequences of this decision and arrived at this decision as in the interest of the nation. We need to restructure and re-organise our football for effective and commendable results.”

Also reacting on the FIFA ultimatum, sports minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio defended the country’s position, insisting the country must defend its national interests.

FIFA spokesman, Nicolas Maingot also speaking on the ultimatum said that the world body send a letter to the Nigeria Football Association, NFA to inform it of the order of FIFA to the government

“FIFA will today (Friday) send a letter to the Nigerian football federation indicating that the government of Nigeria has until Monday 6 p.m. to cancel its decision to withdraw Nigeria’s participation in all FIFA and CAF organised football competitions,” Maingot told a news briefing on yesterday.

Apart from the Eagles ban, the government Thursday set up an 11-man caretaker committee to re-structure football in the country. The committee heaed by one time secretary general of the NFA, Kadiri Momodu will be inaugurated on Monday.


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