Fans won’t be allowed for Nigeria/Sierra Leone match

There is a huge change for the Nigeria versus Sierra Leone game as the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has insisted that the match will be played without fans.

This is contrary to the earlier announcement made by the Edo State Government stating that fans would be allowed into the venue free of charge.

The president of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, then followed up by confirming that fans would be allowed into the stadium but at a reduced seating capacity. He told journalists soon after the inspection of the facility on Monday.

The Super Eagles are billed to take on the Leone Stars in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City on November 13.

The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 recently gave their approval for contact sports to return in the West African country but behind closed doors.

In a letter, to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, the Ministry insisted that the game will be played without fans in adherence to the Covid-19 protocols as directed by the PTF.

The letter reads: “The ministry wishes to bring to your urgent attention that in compliance with the condition of no gathering agreed upon by the ministry and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 before the Federal Government opened up football and contacts sports, the match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone will not have any audience.

“No gathering safe for players, match officials and government officials from both countries. Testings must be conducted on all of them prior to the match.

“The no gathering, no audience for football and contact sports is still in force, which means there shall be no gathering for the Nigerian vs Sierra Leone match, as any violation of this condition may lead to a rollback of the opening up of football and contact sports in the country.

“The PTF and the ministry are on the same page on this matter and the protocol for clearances rests with both the ministry and the PTF when it comes to staging any sports event in Nigeria.

“Full compliance with Covid-19 protocols is to be enforced. The PTF is worried about a spike following the second wave of Covid-19 and is considering another lockdown.”