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Nigeria’s President Suspends National Soccer Team From Competition For Two Years

Nigeria's national soccer team. (AP photo)
Here's the biggest difference between soccer in the rest of the world and the United States. The president of Nigeria today suspended the national team for two years because of its poor showing in the World Cup. A spokesman for president Goodluck Jonathan said it will give the nation a chance to reorganize the national team.

Nigeria was eliminated after group play in the World Cup with just one point. They lost to Argentina in Group B's first game, 1-0, lost to Greece 2-1 in the second game and tied South Korea 1-1 in the finale. The team hasn't won a World Cup game since 1998.

The Nigerian Football Federation's executive committee had already apologized to the government and "all football loving Nigerians" for being eliminated early. But the bigger question here is that the Nigeria can be banned by FIFA from all international soccer because of political interference. "At the time of writing, we have no official information on this matter," FIFA said in a statement. "However, in general, FIFA's position regarding political interference in football is well known."

As you can read, things are a whole lot different here from the rest of the world. When all you hear is that America should be proud of the United States soccer team for their showing in the World Cup, it should make you sick. Want to succeed in soccer? Try consequences and not sugar-coating the truth. Nigeria's team shouldn't be banned from competition, and the government involvement is just plain wrong, but is that any different than US soccer doing the exact opposite? The propaganda to make us believe US soccer wasn't embarrassed in getting eliminated by a team they should have beat is just as wrong as the Nigerian government.

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