FIFA's Nigeria Suspension: Super Falcons' World Cup In Danger, Set To Be First Casualty

Because of the prominence of the men's game, most thought of the Super Eagles when FIFA announced that Nigeria had been suspended indefinitely from international soccer, a punishment handed down due to government interference in football federation business. The suspension, however, effects all participation by Nigerian teams in FIFA-sanctioned events. That means the men's national team, youth tournaments, club competitions and, most urgently, women's soccer.

Qualifying for the the next women's World Cup - Germany 2011 - will be concluding throughout the rest of this calendar year, with Africa set to start qualifying at the end of this month: the African Women's World Championships, starting October 31.The top two finishers in that tournament advance to Germany, but because of the suspension, the Nigerian Super Falcons will not be able to participate in the tournament.

Nigeria has qualified for every women's World Cup, but FIFA's suspension means the team will not be given the opportunity to qualify for next year's. Though the suspension could be lifted at any time (should Nigeria come in compliance with FIFA regulations), players like Tainjin Teda's Stella Mbachu and Linkopings' Maureen Mmadu - 32 and 35 years old, having a combined 123 caps, and nearing the end of what might their final World Cup cycle - may lose the chance to compete in what should have been their final World Cup.

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