It will be at least two more years before the world gets another chance to see a Nigerian national football team, thanks to their poor showing in South Africa last month, the country’s president said.
According to reports, Nigeria will neither win nor lose any football match for at least two years after President Goodluck Jonathan suspended the team from international competition due to their poor play in the 19th FIFA World Cup.
FIFA officials said July 2 that, under rules to prevent government intervention into football affairs, the nation will face suspension from international play unless it restores the team.
Nigeria failed to meet expectations as one of the favored African nations, failing to advance out of the tournament’s first round after playing to two losses and a draw.
“Mr. President has directed that Nigeria will withdraw from all international football competition for the next two years to enable Nigeria to reorganize its football,” Ima Niboro, Jonathan's senior communications adviser, told reporters. “This directive became necessary following Nigeria's poor performance in the ongoing FIFA World Cup.”
Niboro said Jonathan also has plans of carefully evaluating his country’s World Cup organizing committee.
“If any financial misappropriation is discovered, all officials responsible will be held accountable,” said Niboro, who added that a top Nigerian minister has been instructed to rebuild the base of their national football team.
“The problem of Nigerian football is structural,” Niboro said, according to Reuters. “We need to reorganize the structures and there is need to withdraw from all international football competition so that we can put our house in order."