FIFA sanctions Nigeria over stadium violence on World Cup qualifier match

FIFA sanctions Nigeria over stadium violence on World Cup qualifier match

The world football governing body FIFA has sanctioned Nigeria over the stadium violence that happened after the final whistle in the match against Ghana.

The Super Eagles and the Black Stars extended their rivalry when CAF drew them to face each other in the third round of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Nigeria went into the game on better form but could not scale past the Black Stars, missing out on a seventh World Cup appearance and ending a run of three consecutive World Cup appearances.

The Black Stars took a 1-1 draw from the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja and the away goals rule granted them the ticket ahead of Nigeria, following the goalless draw in the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kumasi.

Nigerian fans took to the pitch in annoyance at the team, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the ministry of sports. The promises for a successful World Cup bid were not key and the stadium suffered for it.

Vandalism, destruction of CAF and NFF property, and threat to life led to the day ending in a worse way than it already did for the Super Eagles and FIFA has taken action to punish the NFF for allowing the unfortunate incident.

As announced by FIFA on their website, the NFF will pay a fine of $155,000 and will also play one home game behind closed doors, regardless of the stadium used.

It remains to be seen how the NFF will respond to this, with the team losing a number of sponsors after their failed World Cup qualification bid. The NFF is also still working towards a new manager for the Super Eagles, having let go of Augustine Eguavoen and his crew following back to back disappointments at the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers.

In the meantime, former Super Eagles manager Salisu Yusuf, who was once fired from the role for corrupt practices and accepting bribes, has been installed as caretaker manager. He is currently in the process of selecting the team who will begin their AFCON 2023 qualification phase in June.

Nigeria have been drawn in Group A against Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe/Mauritius. The Moshood Abiola Stadium will host the first match of the qualifiers stage against Sierra Leone, and FIFA's sanctions will be effected on the day.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 years ago

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