Nasarawa defy NFF stadium ban, admit fans to venue


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.

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.

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