Following Nigeria’s unfortunate, yet deserved elimination at the group stages of the World Cup, their nation’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has suspended the national team from competing at international tournaments for two years. This move was done not simply out of anger, but as an attempt to reorganize and restructure the team for when the 2014 qualifications begin.

Such government interference is not allowed by FIFA, and they risk being thrown out of the organization all together. However, I’m not sure FIFA’s strict no-interference policy is always for the good of the sport. Sometimes, you need help from the very top to breathe life back into team, something which the current football officials may be unable to do.

That being said, I do think the president’s decision is a bit of an overreaction. Yes, Nigeria’s results were disappointing, but they definitely showed determination. They took the lead in two of their games, and not many were expecting such turnovers. This is more than what a lot of other teams did, none the least the two finalists from 2006.

Nigeria’s football organization president and vice-president have already been fired, which might convince Jonathan to change his mind after all. If he does not, I don’t think FIFA will show much mercy. It would be really sad if the current Nigerian squad, which still boasts some very talented footballers, many of whom play in the Premiership, is frozen and not allowed to compete.

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