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Nigeria vs. Sierra Leone: Fans accuse government of “double standards”

Football fans said political rallies, hosting thousands of faithfuls were also held in the stadium during COVID-19.

• November 6, 2020
Nigeria Football Supporters Club. [CREDIT Sports Village]
Nigeria Football Supporters Club. [CREDIT Sports Village]

The Nigeria Football Supporters Club has asked the federal government to rescind its decision to bar fans from the stadium during the upcoming Super Eagles match, saying it reeks of “double standards.” 

The Nigeria national men’s team is billed to square up against its counterpart from Sierra Leone in Benin on November 13 in an African Nations’ Cup qualifier..

Chairman of the supporters club Samuel Ikpea, in a statement on Friday in Lagos, said the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development were not being fair by ordering that the game be played behind closed doors.

“We are disappointed with this decision which denies football fans access into the stadium for the match.

“For so long, football-loving Nigerians have been starved of watching football.

“So, the decision to ban fans from coming to the stadium to watch the Super Eagles is regrettable and it smirk of double standards by the PTF,” Mr. Ikpea said.

He pointed out that political rallies which led to the conduct of elections in Ondo state and Edo were recently held and hundreds of people were involved.

“It just doesn’t sound sensible that we are doing this, when we can point to so many other events which have been held with tens of thousands of people in attendance,” Mr. Ikpea said.

Mr. Ikpea then urged the Sports Ministry and the PTF to allow members of the Supporters Club into the stadium for the match.

“I want to assure the government that we are aware of the protocols and we are ready to adhere to the social distancing measures and other COVID-19 protocols at the match venue,” he said. 


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