FIFA has warned Nigeria about possible suspension after a regional court ordered the sacking of the country's football association and the appointment of a new administrator to run the game in the populous west African nation.
Nigeria's government has been set a deadline of Tuesday to restore the leadership of the Nigerian Football Federation to their position or the country could be suspended from playing in international competitions.
"FIFA has learnt from various sources that the Nigerian Football Federation has been served with court processes and that consequently an order restraining the President of the NFF, his Executive Committee members and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football has been granted by a High Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," said a FIFA statement. It said it had also taken note of the detention of NFF president Aminu Maigari, although he has since been released.
"FIFA has reminded the NFF that all FIFA member associations have to manage their affairs independently and without influence of any third parties. The above mentioned actions are preventing the NFF from managing its affairs independently and are considered by FIFA as undue interference in the NFF affairs," the statement added.
The Plateau State High Court in Jos earlier this week ordered the dismissal of the federation leadership, granting an injunction restraining them running the affairs of football in the country. It was not made clear who brought the injunction and why. Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo then appointed Lawrence Longyir Katken as acting Secretary General of the NFF. He has since called an extraordinary meeting of the general assembly of the NFF in Abuja on Saturday where all the chairman and secretaries of the Football Associations of Nigeria's 36 states are expected to attempt to vote in a new leadership.
But FIFA warned this would not be tolerated. Suspension for Nigeria would affect participation by its national team, junior and club sides in international competition.
The ructions in the running of Nigerian football comes just days after the country was eliminated from the World Cup by France on Monday. Nigeria were one of only two African countries to get past the group phase and into the last 16.