…as FIFA fines Nigeria
The Confederation of Africa Football over the weekend approved the Moshood Abiola Stadium for Super Eagles 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers set to begin later in May. In a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation on Sunday, May 1, 2022, CAF approved that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja be used for the 2023 AFCON qualifier between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
This approval puts to an end to speculations that the edifice will be barred from hosting international matches in the wake of the crowd disturbances that trailed the second leg of the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana.
Meanwhile, weeks after the elimination of the Super Eagles by the Black Stars of Ghana in the race for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the World football ruling body, FIFA, has come hard on the country after the fracas that ensued after the game. FIFA fined Nigeria a CHF150,000 (roughly N63.9m) for the crisis that happened after the match.
Immediately after the game played on March 29, which ended 1-1 thereby ending Nigeria’s dream of going to Qatar, the fans in their hundreds encroached the field, while also destroying the technical area and pelting the VIP section of the stadium with objects as the players and officials from the two teams scampered for safety although no casualty was recorded.
FIFA Disciplinary Committee, in their summary jurisdiction over the incident delivered the sanctions in a letter updated on April 28 and made available to New Telegraph. In the letter, it was reported that the fines were as a result of “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.”
According to FIFA, the violence breached Article 16 of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee with total 49 countries receiving either fines or warnings by the world football governing body.
Nigeria, apart from the fine, will also play their next home game (against Sierra Leone) behind closed doors at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.