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FIFA punishes Nigeria over Abuja Stadium invasion

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FIFA, NFF

The world football body, FIFA has punished the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over the violence that occurred after a Nigeria vs Ghana match in Abuja stadium in March.

FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee imposed sanctions on Nigeria for the misconduct which saw properties at the stadium destroyed.

Ripples Nigeria reported at the time how displeased fans vandalised facilities at the Stadium following Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with the Black Stars of Ghana.

The result meant the Eagles were not going to the 2022 FIFA World Cup which had been scheduled to start in November in Qatar.

FIFA in a statement on its official website on Monday detailed the reason for the sanctions as “order and security at matches (failure to implement existing safety rules and failure to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium, invasion of the field of play and throwing of objects”.

Read Also: VIDEO: Angry Nigerian fans destroying MKO Abiola Stadium after ‘Jollof derby’ ends in Ghana’s favour

“In line with FIFA’s zero-tolerance stance against discrimination and violence in football, a number of member associations have been punished due to the abusive behaviour by their respective supporters,” the communique also read.

It also imposed a 150,000 Swiss Franc (N63,996,216.90) fine on Nigeria as a result of the unruly behaviour of its fans, and also to play one match without spectators.

Some other African countries were also fined by FIFA, including Senegal.

Last month, Nigerian lawmakers invited the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare; NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, and other agencies involved in the maintenance of the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, to determine the extent of the damage to facilities at the national arena.

The lawmakers had also instructed the Senate Committee on Sports and Youth Development to investigate the remote and immediate causes of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in spite of the huge support by the government, individuals, and corporate bodies.

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