FIFA Sanctions Nigeria over Stadium Invasion by Fans
World football governing body, FIFA, has imposed a fine of $150,000 on Nigeria following fan disturbances that followed Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Ghana in a 2022 World Cup playoff at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The draw against Nigeria West African Neighbors led to the non-qualification of Super Eagles for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In addition to the fine, fans have been barred from the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja as Nigeria will play their first qualifying match of the 2023 AFCON against Sierra Leone next month behind closed doors.
In a letter sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on May 1, 2022, FIFA approved the venue built in 2003 to host the qualifier against Sierra Leone but without fans as punishment for the incident that took place after Ghana pipped Nigeria to the Qatar 2022 ticket on the away goal rule.
This approval has now put to an end speculations in the local media that the Abuja Stadium will be barred from hosting international matches in the wake of the crowd disturbances.
Over 60,000 fans were present at the stadium in Nigeria’s last game of the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar. The failure to qualify for the Mundial in Qatar was too hard for the fans to swallow. They resorted to destruction of the edifice that hosted the All African Games in 2003.