World Cup Play-off: FIFA Sanctions NFF, Orders Eagles To Play AFCON Qualifier Behind Closed Doors
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By Our Correspondent
Barely a month after Nigerian football followers invaded the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja during Super Eagles vs Ghana 2022 World Cup play-off match and damaged some facilities, the world football umpire FIFA have punished Nigeria with various sanctions.
FIFA on Monday ordered Nigeria to play their next home game, which is 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifier against Sierra Leone behind closed doors and fined the country CHF 150,000 (₦63m) for the trouble their fans caused after their World Cup playoff clash against Ghana.
The Super Eagles hosted Ghana in the second leg of their 2022 World Cup playoff clash at the Moshood Abiola Stadium on March 29
With the first keg ending goalless in Kumasi on 25, at the Baba Yara Stadium, the Super Eagles had to win to seal their qualification to the Qatar global showpiece
However, in front of a 60,000 capacity crowd at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, they came from behind to draw 1-1 in the second leg, meaning Ghana qualified via the away goals rule.
Following the team’s failure to qualify, the home fans took to the pitch to express their anger. In the process, they destroyed some properties in the stadium, while they also put the safety of the Ghanaians in danger.
As a result, FIFA has now landed a hammer blow on the country for failing to provide adequate security and control their crowd. FIFA, through its media department, announced on Monday that Nigeria has been fined CHF 150,000 and also ordered to play their next home game without fans.
It means the Super Eagles’ next home game, which is a 2023 Africa Cup Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone in June, will have no fans in attendance.
However, they can welcome fans back for their next home game against Sao Tome or Mauritius.