The Nigerian Football Federation’s top two officials have been sacked in a bid to appease the country’s president who suspended the team after the World Cup.NFF President Sani Lulu and Vice-President Amanze Ugbulam were fired as the federation asked President Goodluck Jonathan to reconsider his ban.Fifa has threatened to expel Nigeria from world football unless the Nigerian president lifts the two-year ban.It has imposed a deadline of 1700 BST on Monday for ban to be lifted.Fifa rules prohibit government intervention in its members’ affairs.The NFF said the two sackings, as well as the dismissal of a member of the federation’s technical committee, were carried out “to tender a resolved apology” to all Nigerians over the team’s performance in South Africa. The NFF also promised “to take urgent steps to address the maladministration of football in the country”.The country’s House of Representatives has passed a resolution asking the Nigerian president to reverse his order, fearing sanctions.Jonathan’s government announced on Wednesday that the NFF would be dissolved and an interim board put in place.“President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that Nigeria withdraws from international competition for two years to enable the country to put its house in order,” said special presidential adviser Ima Niboro.However, Fifa rules clearly state that national associations can be expelled if governments are seen to be interfering with the way they operate. “Fifa has sent a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation indicating that the government of Nigeria has until Monday at 6pm to cancel its direction to withdraw Nigeria’s participation from all Fifa and Caf competitions for the next two years,” said Fifa communications director Nicolas Maingot on Friday.“Also the management committee set up by the Nigeria government will not be recognised by Fifa.”If Nigeria are suspended, the country cannot participate in competitive matches or club games in African competitions.“A suspension goes beyond the suspension of the national teams,” added Maingot. “It also freezes financial help and no referees can participate in international competition.”Fifa executive committee member and former Nigeria government minister Dr Amos Adamu will be in the country on Monday “for a last mediation attempt”. The governing body’s president Sepp Blatter had already warned French president Nicolas Sarkozy of possible sanctions after he pledged to personally lead an investigation into France’s acrimonious World Cup campaign.Source: BBC
Cristiano Ronaldo broke the 50-goal mark this season after recording a hat trick in Real Madrid’s Primera Division clash against Atletico at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night.The Portuguese superstar reached the iconic milestone after his strike in the 25th minute, when he lashed a brilliant swerving free-kick past a static Thibaut Courtois from fully 30 yards. He went on to score his 51st goal on in the 68th minute and 52nd in the 88th.Ronaldo now has 41 La Liga goal in 2011-12 in just 32 appearances, reaching a total of 52 strikes in all competitions in just 47 outings for the capital giants.Ronaldo netted 53 goals in 54 appearances last season, and with six league games left to play in the current campaign, coupled with Los Blancos’ continued participation in the Champions League, he will almost certainly surpass his own total over the next few weeks.On Saturday, Barcelona star Lionel Messi notched his 60th goal of the season in the Catalans’ 4-1 demolition of Zaragoza, becoming the first player since Bayern Munich legend Gerd Muller to reach the illustrious figure.