FIFA Sanctions Nigeria For Crowd Violence At M.K.O Abiola Stadium

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In line with FIFA’s zero-tolerance stance against discrimination and violence in football, its Disciplinary Committee on Monday fined Nigeria for failing to ensure law and order during their Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ghana at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on the 29th of March.

World football’s governing body announced a fine of CHF150,000 (about N64 million) for the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and a 1-game stadium ban without spectators.

The Super Eagles held the Black Stars to a goalless draw in Kumasi in the first leg of their playoff tie, and needed to win the second leg at home to seal its place in Qatar. However, Nigeria played a 1-1 draw against its fierce rivals, with the visitors progressing on the away goals rule. Nigeria’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup for the seventh time was dashed in front of the record home crowd.

Nigerian supporters invade pitch after Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Ghana at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

This result did not go down well with the fans who vented their anger by throwing objects into the pitch, before invading the pitch and destroying everything within sight.

As a result, the disciplinary arm of FIFA published sanctions where the breaches committed by Nigeria and some other countries were highlighted and the punishments also spelled out.

For Nigeria, FIFA cited a breach of Article 16 of its Disciplinary Code on Order and Security at match venues.

“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),” FIFA said.

FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee takes decisions based on the specific circumstances of each case and some decisions may be subject to appeal.

With the pronouncement that the next Super Eagles game should be played without spectators, it means the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 qualifier against Sierra Leone will take place without fans in June.


Chidi Nwoke/FIFA.

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