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Analyst slams ban decision

“This is taking football 20 years backwards. I don’t see how anything positive will come out of this,” Gleeson is reported as saying in the…

“This is taking football 20 years backwards. I don’t see how anything positive will come out of this,” Gleeson is reported as saying in the Nigeria media.

“I’m not happy with the government’s decision because we all know what football means to this country,” lamented Nigeria’s former World Cup defender Chidi Nwanu.

“The decision is bad, hasty and ill advised. This is most certainly not the way to re-organise football in Nigeria.

“I would have thought that the government will make a series of consultations before they arrive at such an unfortunate decision.

“Those who are celebrating now do not really know the full implications of what government has done. A case in point is Togo, who were rebuffed by CAF even after they decided to return to the 2010 Nations Cup after their initial withdrawal.”

President of Nigeria’s players’ union, Dahiru Sadi, also said the decision will only take the country’s football backwards as hundreds of careers will be ruined as players will not have a chance to showcase their talents at major championships around the world.

However, former chairman of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Abdulmumini Aminu, insisted that government’s directive was not meant to witch-hunt the NFF, but one seen as necessary to revive Nigerian football.

“It is not a case of disbanding the NFF, but the government is withdrawing from all Fifa international competitions for two years,” disclosed Aminu yesterday.

“Nobody is destroying the NFF. Their tenure has already expired and a new board is to be constituted to organise elections.

“It’s a good decision for the country. Other countries like Ghana and Mozambique took similar decisions and bounced back. Ghana won the Under-20 World Cup for Africa and look at them now,” he added.

President Goodluck Jonathan earlier this week ordered a ‘reorganisation of the football structure’ of the country based on the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force for the 2010 World Cup, which reported “gross misapplication of funds” at South Africa 2010.

The immediate consequence of this decision is that the country’s Under-20 and Under-17 female teams will not feature in upcoming Fifa tournaments, while Nigeria will forfeit their 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Madagascar in September if the government’s ban is not lifted in the next 48 hours.


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