SOCCER BAN: JONATHAN MAKES U-TURN.

Only hours ahead of the FIFA threat to send Nigeria to the soccer freezer, President Goodluck Jonathan today rescinded his widely-criticized decision to suspend Nigeria from international soccer for two years on account of the poor performance of the national team at the 21010 World Cup. The World Cup was seen as the trigger for the decision, but Saharareporters investigations have revealed that the decision was actually aimed at breaking the back of the Amos Adamu-led mafia at the Nigeria Football Federation. Mr. Adamu is the super-rich and notably corrupt FIFA executive who runs Nigerian football. His wide connections at the highest levels in FIFA and in the ruling elite in Nigeria has seen him holding football administration to ransom.

Mr. Adamu was recalled from South Africa a few days ago by aides to Mr. Jonathan to prevent him from using his connections at FIFA to ban Nigeria after the ill-advised decision was taken to withdraw Nigeria from all FIFA competitions for two years. FIFA then gave the Nigerian authorities 48 hours to withdraw the letter.

Earlier today, Jonathan met with Adamu and decided to change his stance. Adamu and Jonathan became close when Jonathan superintended over the Under-20 soccer competition while he was VP. The decision, which was reportedly composed and sponsored by the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, was rescinded for Nigeria so as to avoid FIFA from banning it from competitions that would have seen Nigeria unable to participate in any soccer competitions until 2018!

Saharareporters sources said with the “peaceful resolution” of the standoff today, Jonathan’s people would be allowed to participate and possibly take over the NFF when fresh elections are held in August 2010, a position that was earlier made impossible by Adamu cronies at the NFF who had already decided on those who could participate in the NFF elections. An extra-ordinary convening of the NFF congress might be underway to open the way for new members to contest for NFF positions.

For Adamu, it is great reprieve as he gets to retain his position on the FIFA and CAF boards, which would have been overturned had Nigeria been banned by FIFA.

The game of soccer indirectly employs over 1.5 million Nigerians and has become an avenue for talented Nigerians to make it in life even when Nigeria’s notorious political elite refuse to provide formal employment for its teeming youth population.
Source: Sahara Reporters.

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