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Nigerian soccer team suspended after poor World Cup showing

No games today, sadly. And while Steve is taking a much-deserved day off, here's some World Cup news and notes.

Nigeria's president has suspended the national team for two years after the Super Eagles earned just one point in the World Cup. So wait: Sepp Blatter warned France's president not to get involved in an investigation of his team's shameful showing, but the Nigerian president can go ahead and shut things down for two years? FIFA could ban the Nigerians because of the political interference.

Despite Blatter's warning, the French parliament is conducting closed-door meetings about Les Bleus' World Cup catastrophe. One lawmaker said former coach Raymond Domenech blamed the media and "wasn't very dignified" in his testimony.

A post-match scuffle four years ago between Germany and Argentina still is on the minds of the German players. Said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, in regards to another fracas involving Argentina during its round-of-16 win over Mexico, "They have no respect." The two teams meet in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

British announcer Martin Tyler will be back with ESPN for the 2014 World Cup.

Players talk about their mind-set during penalty-kick shootouts.
Staying calm is the key. Good luck with that.

Brazil midfielder Elano, who scored in each of Brazil's first two games, will miss the quarterfinal against the Netherlands with a right ankle injury.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  June 30, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup  
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Whay do you think they call it argy bargy, Bastian?

Posted by: OWNTF | June 30, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Damn, someone beat me to the argy bargy comment.

A bit of an overreaction by the Nigerian president. Besides that fact that his country faces more serious problems than a struggling soccer team, what good does it do to suspend the program? How does that improve the quality of play? I imagine we will see a FIFA ban, which is a shame because it punishes the players and the fans, not a rash ruler (I do understands FIFA’s logic to implement a ban, I am just attempt to show empathy to the players and fans). I believe that an election is supposed to occur there sometime in the near future (don’t quote me). What would happen if the new president removes the state imposed ban? Does the FIFA ban no longer exist?

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Still no word on the North Korean players sent to work in the coal mines :-)

Luckily for the US players a majority of Americans probably still don't know that the World Cup was ever played.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 30, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

FIFA may ban the Nigerians because Nigeria is threatening to ban the Nigerian team. Do I have that right?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | June 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Rand-al-Thor, that makes as much sense as banning Mali for being caught in an hours-long firefight, having people killed, and banning them.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I got an e-mail from the Nigerian president. He says that he has withheld the $9M World Cup payout from the Nigerian Football Federation. He is willing to transfer a large part of it to me. I just have to send him my bank account number.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 30, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The Nigerian government investigating someone else's corruption. That's priceless, really.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I agree with grubbsbl, the Nigerian president clearly doesn't know what he's doing in this situation. A two year time out during pivotal developmental time is a step backward, and this Nigeria side was truly pathetic.

Goff brings up an excellent point. Blatter must be protected on high by the prince of darkness to behave the way he has, even during his dubious election.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 30, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I haven't liked Argentina since the Hand of God goal and then in 1990 they had a chip on their shoulder and showed up with a pitiful team that played counterattack and somehow beat Brasil and got to the finals against Germany. They were in the Colombian ref's face for daring to call a legitamate penalty on them. Meanwhile they had perfected doing the barrel roll after falling and hoping to win penalties.

Posted by: GeneWells | June 30, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

UnitedDemon. Its a shame that the Nigerian president isn't trained in rationale logic like us two. Seriously though, Nigeria has enough serious problem. He should leave the national team alone and focus on his people.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It appears I am part of the redundancy crowd. Also, I actually hope for some good old argy bargy in the Germany, Argentina game. It will add to the flavor of the game. I honestly think this game is too close to call but I also thought England would beat Germany so I am an idiot. I give the edge to Argentina for some reason. Maradona is going to continue to ride his emotional roller coaster luck…

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It appears I am part of the redundancy crowd.
Posted by: grubbsbl

Ironic that this comment wasn't double or triple posted.

Ironic that this comment wasn't double or triple posted.

Ironic that this comment wasn't double or triple posted.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 30, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, is there no end to the shame Nigerians must endure? For crying out loud, how does suspending the team fix things? I can see disbanding the current team, forming a new team, creating a committee to come up with a 10-year plan to fix things. But to ban the team from play for 2 years? Does he expect them to get better from not practicing or playing? What a moron!

Regarding elections in Nigeria, this dude was the vice president that got sworn in after the president died. So his term will be up shortly. Alas, I think the FIFA would have landed way before that.

Posted by: tundey | June 30, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

MLS hates El Salvador!

The San Jose Earthquakes are reportedly releasing Ramon Sanchez. Sanchez, the captain of the El Salvador national team, didn't receive much playing time this season, and Weber never cracked the first team.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

From further reading, looks like the Nigerian president is trying to reboot the country's soccer. Certainly, he's doing it the wrong way ('cos FIFA hates govt intervention in soccer) but the idea isn't half bad. He wants to rebuild the team with youth players. Ghana's done a similar youth movement thing (they are the youngest team in the world cup) and we Americans can certainly attest to the fact that their approach worked.

Posted by: tundey | June 30, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It appears the Nigerian president is pushing his "luck" (yeah, I totally went there). I enjoy the scapegoat math...

Political leaders who have an Everest-sized pile of business on their plate, meet your scapegoat...your men's national side. Players, pick your get to choose from the ball, altitude, vuvuzelas, or why can't we just always have this thing in Europe. Refs...refs, you get to choose...ah, err...hmmm, I'll get back to you guys. get to choose everyone but yourselves (*whispers* pick the bad call on the goal, I mean that never happens to anyone else, right? Perfectly good reason to let 4 in on yourselves. We understand).

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 30, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

How fast the Germans forget about that knee (Klose) to the ribs (Roberto Abbondanzieri) that changed things in that game. Hopefully Argentina has not forgotten that.

Posted by: Benito6 | June 30, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I am also kind of glad Elano isn't fit. That sounds horrible to say and I feel bad for him but hopefully this means Daniel Alves will start. There isn’t one person who I enjoy yelling at more on my TV due to diving, poor sportsmanship, or ref bating than Alves. Him and Lucio make it easy to dislike their team (Lucio is on my bad list because he is too good in FIFA. Yup, I said it. You can't dribble him). Luis Fabiano is a beast, and I do like Kaka who plays the game the way it should be played.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe Abbondanzieri isn't even on the squad.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I am really glad Martin Tyler will be back in 2014 - I also hope Ian Darke returns because he really seemed to get the American soccer viewer.

I also think Kyle Martino has done a great job on ESPN Radio. He's come out of nowhere.

Posted by: IamAM | June 30, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Martino isn't horrible. I listened to a few games on XM and I thought he did a good job. He has done fine on MLS games too.

Posted by: grubbsbl | June 30, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I hope Tommy Smythe is not back for ESPN radio. I'm not sure what he brings to a broadcast. The worst was during the Brazil-Ivory Coast game when he said that Brazil was in trouble if it had to depend on Luis Fabiano -- less than 2 minutes before Fabiano scored the first of his 2 goals that game.

Posted by: Rhio | June 30, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

There is soccer tomorrow!

I cannot wait for the classic matchups between Tobol & Zrinjski, Ulysses & Bnei Yehuda, and, who could forget, Trans & MyPa.

Throw out the records books when the Trannys and MyPa get together.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

+1 for Ian Darke. I was excited for Tyler, but have found that I like Darke much better.

-1 for Efan Ekoku. it could be me, but he always seems so negative and dismissive, both of players and officials.

Posted by: VTUnited | June 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking: If you've seen Pato Abbondanzieri play keeper in the last 4 years, it's not that hard to believe that dios Maradona left him at home. His hands aren't steady enough to hold the huevos needed to overegg the pudding.

Posted by: me_ahogo | June 30, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure what Schweinsteiger is whining about. Germany was as guilty if not more, of cheap shots than Argentina in Berlin 4 years ago.
He should stay quiet! He is just giving more motivation material to Diego and his team!

Posted by: charlie015 | June 30, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what Schweinsteiger is whining about. Germany was as guilty if not more than Argentina of cheap shots 4 years ago.
Her is just providing additionnal motivation material to Diego and his team!

Posted by: charlie015 | June 30, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Germany was not as responsible in the least, regarding 2006's after game melee'. The Argentinians led by their assistant coach actually charged the German bench after the shootout... throwing punches as they went. During the shootout they were even gesturing and hooting at the German penalty takers. In the press conference, their association's president said that was justified, because gamesmanship is part of the game. Whatever. It was despicable, and pathetic. And I say this as a neutral who was there in the stadium. Too bad Frings stood up to the gutless argies and was subsequently redcarded...a year's ban for all the Argentinians involved would have been more justified. I hope Germany pounds them.

Posted by: harryfuchs | June 30, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Nice, me_ahogo. I caught him a few times for Getafe, and I thought he was a key player for them when they were promoted, surprisingly staying up.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse



Julio Martinez was let go by the Chicago Fire, making him the third Salvadorian to be cut from the league. Martinez, who like Castillo was on loan from Leon, played in three games and scored one goal for the Fire.

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

King, you know what that means right? Our FO is going to go and buy the most expensive DP in the hsitory of the league from...El Salvador.

Posted by: Kosh2 | June 30, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll take Rodolfo Zelaya, as will someone else here...

Posted by: Reignking | June 30, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that by cheapshots he means the ones during the game. I remember that game very well too. After the Abbondanzieri incident I would have been very upset too. I'm from South America and I'm hoping for an all South American Semi final.

Posted by: Benito6 | June 30, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

My groaning on the DCU facebook page worked! They just tweeted that they'll have a live feed of the match tonight!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 30, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

For those of you complaining about the commute to GMU or the Soccerplex, help is on the way, eventually.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 30, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

For those of you complaining about the commute to GMU or the Soccerplex, help is on the way, eventually.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 30, 2010 5:34 PM |

Back to the Future II told us we would have flying cars by 2015, so its nice to see that Doc Brown wasn't really full of it afterall.

Posted by: VTUnited | June 30, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Exciting games coming up
Brazil may just have to much for Holland but the Argentina , Germany game has all the makings of a football feast or a war .
My last 4 ,Brazil ,Germany , Spain ,Uruguay.

Over the last few days the tabloid press have slaughtered players and coach alike regarding the performance of the England teams non show shall we say at another world cup .
Resulting in this press release earlier today.

A spokesman for the England camp reluctantly said today 12.00 GMT
"England are to replace the 3 lions on there shirt with 3 tampons to represent that this is the worse ever period in there footballing history.

More breaking news severe flooding in Northern England has been reported as 6 million Scots have been pissing themselves at England's dismal display in yet another World Cup

Posted by: Jaggybunnet | June 30, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

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