Yobo wants Nigeria ban resolved

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Joseph Yobo has urged Nigeria's football authorities to "come together" in a bid to change FIFA's decision to ban the country from the sport.

The world governing body announced on Monday that it had suspended the Nigerian Football Federation due to government interference.

FIFA had become frustrated with events in the African state and acted, leaving the country's national team in the limbo.

The immediate effect was felt by the Super Eagles, who will now not be allowed to participate in qualification for the African Nations Cup until the matter is resolved.

The Nigerians were due to play Guinea in Conakry over the weekend, their second match on the road to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012.

They won their opening ANC qualifier 2-0 against Madagascar and national captain Yobo said: "The players are gradually coming to camp in preparation for the Guinea game when the news broke.

"It's a sad one for the players. We just hope everyone can simply come together and resolve this crisis once and for all for the progress of the country.

"The players are relatively calm, hoping things can quickly be resolved because a suspension preventing the game on Sunday would have negative effect."

FIFA has constantly warned Nigeria's government not to interfere in football affairs in the wake of a poor World Cup campaign.

The west Africans were knocked out in the first round in South Africa, prompting the country's president, Goodluck Jonathan, to suspend the team.

That matter has since been partly resolved, but FIFA's said in its statement this week that the ban followed a bid by Nigeria's Minister of Sports to have the domestic league start without relegation from the previous season.

It added that "court actions against elected members of the NFF executive committee preventing them from exercising their functions and duties" was also to blame, while also citing a decision by the Sports Commission to force the association's secretary-general Musa Amadu to stand down from his position as another reasons.

Everton defender Yobo, currently on a season-long loan at Turkish side Fenerbahce, was also disappointed by the decision.

He added on www.supersport.com: "Football brings us together as a country, we should not let it separate us as a strong nation.

"After the World Cup disappointment, we are gradually making effort to usher in a new joy and happiness, and this (FIFA suspension) is the last thing we need."

Comments