5th October, 2010
In the wake of Nigeriaâ€™s suspension from international football, Super Eaglesâ€™ captain,Â Joseph Yobo, has made a passionate plea to warring factions in the countryâ€™s football toÂ sheathe their swords and embrace peace.
Yesterday, FIFA slammed an indefinite suspension on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)Â due to government interference, after becoming frustrated with events in the West AfricanÂ country.
Nigeriaâ€™s ban from international football leaves their weekendâ€™s 2012 Africa Cup ofÂ Nations qualifier against Guinea in Conakry in doubt.
And this latest setback has left the Nigerian captain seeking an everlasting resolutionÂ to the crisis that has dogged the country since the teamâ€™s elimination in the first roundÂ of the World Cup in South Africa in June.
â€œThe players are gradually coming to camp in preparation for the Guinea game when theÂ news broke; itâ€™s a sad one for the players.â€ Yobo said.
â€œWe just hope everyone canÂ come together and resolve this crisis once and for all forÂ the progress of the country.
â€œThe players are relatively calm hoping things can quickly be resolved because aÂ suspension preventing the game on Sunday would have negative effect.
â€œFootball brings us together as a country; we should not let it separate us as a strongÂ nation.
â€œAfter the World Cup disappointment, we are gradually making effort to usher in a new joyÂ and happiness and this FIFA suspension is the last thing we need.â€
The world governing body said the suspension follows a bid by Nigeriaâ€™s sports minister,Â Ibrahim Bio, to restart the league without relegation from the previous season.
The decision by the National Sports Commission (NSC) to force the NFF secretary-general,Â Musa Amadu, to stand down from his position did not also go down well with FIFA.
A court action barring the newly-elected members of the NFF also drew the ire of theÂ world governing body. The NFF board led by Aminu Maigari has not been able to operateÂ because a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ruled that the elections of 26 August thatÂ brought him to power were null and void.