Denounce VAR theft, FIFA ban stories – NFF  

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has appealed to Nigerians to denounce the influx of concocted media stories being peddled on social media platforms and some notable media dwellings after Tuesday’s World Cup second leg playoff with Ghana.

NFF on Friday said it became expedient to debunk such rumours which at first thought were mere pranks until notable media outlets started developing a series of interest in such infamous stories.

According to the nation’s football governing body rebuttal, the VAR that was reported missing on social media has been returned to FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland by Sabastian Runge.

Furthermore, the NFF disavowed the story being circulated that FIFA/CAF has banned Nigeria from football events maintaining that no such report was received from either the continental or the international football governing bodies.

The NFF statement issued by its Secretary-General, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed and retrieved by The Trumpet, reads: “We are alarmed at the influx of incorrect reports, otherwise known as fake news, mostly in the social media.

“There is no truth to the reports that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja has been banned for any length of time by FIFA. It is a concoction by some persons with fertile imagination. The NFF has not received any such communication from either FIFA or CAF.

“There has also been an outlandish report that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) equipment that was installed for the match had been stolen. We initially thought this was an April Fool prank but it is alarming that some media outlets are taking it seriously. Nothing of such happened.

“The VAR equipment remains intact and has been returned to the FIFA office in Zurich, Switzerland by Sebastian Runge, FIFA’s Head of Technology,” the statement added.

Consequently, Sanusi affirmed that the resultant outcome of the match between the Super Eagles and the Black Stars of Ghana on Tuesday is disheartening but appealed to Nigerians to discourage peddling surmised stories.

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He continued: “The NFF understands that Nigerians in their generality were sorely disappointed by the result of the match, which came short of having the Super Eagles at the World Cup. It is a painful situation for everyone, including ourselves at the Federation.

“However, we are appealing that the propensity for half-truths and outright falsehood be discouraged. We believe that the present squad of Super Eagles is still capable of achieving great things,” he concluded.

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