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Soccer News of Thursday, 10 June 2021

Source: punchng.com

Nasarawa defy NFF stadium ban, admit fans to venue

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Nasarawa United will forfeit three points despite their 3-1 victory over Warri Wolves in the Nigeria Professional Football League on Wednesday, after they allowed fans into the Lafia Township Stadium, thus flouting the new directive of the Nigeria Football Federation.

The following violence at three-match venues on Sunday, the NFF, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, and addressed to the League Management Company, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women’s Football League and the Nigeria Nationwide League One on Monday, frowned on fans attending league matches despite the ban by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, and insisted that home teams would forfeit three points if they allowed fans into the venue.

“At no time did the NFF – the supreme organising body for football in Nigeria – give any of the leagues, clubs or Football Associations in the states the go-ahead to entertain spectators at match venues.

We have, particularly over the past weekend, been gutted by videos and still photos of large gatherings of spectators at venues of matches of the NPFL and NNL in some parts of the country. This is most unacceptable, unconscionable and not condonable,” the statement read.

“Also, host clubs must make their best efforts to ensure that match venues are shorn of spectators/fans before the commencement of any match. “Violation of these directives would be severely dealt with. For sure, host clubs that open their gates to spectators will be judged to have failed in their responsibilities and would be declared to have lost the game in question by three goals and three points, while the Match Commissioner would be suspended indefinitely. Further sanctions could apply,” the NFF added.

The NFF directed match commissioners not to start any league match where fans are in attendance.“We are, by this letter, directing you to reiterate to your affiliated clubs and match commissioners to observe what is a presidential directive. Henceforth, match commissioners and other officials are not to sanction the commencement of a football match without first ensuring that there are no spectators at the venue in question,” the NFF added.

But in defiance to the NFF directive, our correspondent gathered that the match commissioner allowed the game between Nasarawa and Warri Wolves to go ahead with fans at the venue.The match, which was shown live on NPFL TV, had fans in their numbers at the stadium.

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