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Nigeria FF sack president as power struggle continues

24 July 2014, 23:44

Abuja - The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) dismissed its president Aminu Maigari on Thursday in a new twist to the power struggle that caused FIFA to step in and briefly suspend Africa's most populous nation from international competition.

Maigari was accused of "uncalled-for secrecy surrounding all financial dealings of the federation" and a failure to call a meeting of the executive committee for the past eight months, according to a statement issued after the committee met in Abuja on Thursday.

"Many weighty decisions on Nigeria football had been taken by a small cabal (within the committee)," it added.

"The executive committee passed a vote of no confidence on the NFF President, and approved the immediate dismissal of Maigari on grounds of financial misappropriation, misapplication and maladministration."

Mike Okeke Umeh was named acting president ahead of planned elections on Aug. 26.

Nigeria were briefly suspended by FIFA earlier this month due to government interference in the national federation's affairs.

A regional high court ordered the dismissal of the NFF executive, just a day after the Super Eagles were eliminated from the World Cup by France in the last-16 on June 30.

The court also mandated the sports minister to appoint a caretaker administrator, who swiftly called new elections in what looked a well-planned and deliberately orchestrated move to impose new leadership on Nigerian football.

FIFA suspended the country and only lifted the sanction nine days later when Maigari was restored to power after the court order was rescinded.

FIFA expressed its concern at the time that the court proceedings were preventing the NFF president from running the African country's football affairs.

Maigari had also been briefly detained by police on his arrival back from Brazil, but was not charged with any offence.

Nigerian players had gone on strike after winning through to the last 16 at the World Cup but resumed training after Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan had spoken to several senior squad members by telephone and assured them that bonus money would be paid.

- Reuters


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