AFCON Qualifier: Supporters Club official urges FG to change “no fans” decision
Samuel Ikpea, the National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), wants the Federal Government to change the “no fan” decision imposed on the Nigeria versus Sierra Leone game of Nov. 13.
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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin will be played behind closed doors.
“We are disappointed with this decision which denies football fans access into the stadium for the match.
“The decision smirks of double standards from the government as it concerns breaching the COVID-19 protocols.
“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 smirks of double standards by the PTF,” 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.”
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.