FIFA sanctions Nigeria, others over misconduct

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

The world football governing body has slammed Nigeria with sanctions over the country’s inability to control its fans after they failed to secure the qualifying ticket to FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar.

The Super Eagles played a goalless draw against the Black Stars of Ghana in Kumasi during the first leg of the double-legged tie but failed to capitalize on the overwhelming home support to edge out their West Africa rivals.

Following the result of the match that ended in a one-all draw, the disappointed Nigerian supporters trooped into the pitch and caused disgraceful damage to the MKO Abiola National Stadium facilities which prompted people to scamper for safety.

However, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) delegated its Disciplinary Committee to review all the incidents that took place during the qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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FIFA on its official site reiterated that it is committed to “zero-tolerance stance against discrimination and violence in football, a number of member associations have been punished due to the abusive behaviour by their respective supporters.”

Accordingly, the world football governing body fined Nigeria $150,000 and also banned the Super Eagles to play one match without spectators to cheer them up to victory.

Other countries also sanctioned in Africa according to their degree of crime, include Algeria, fined $3000 for throwing objects and lighting fireworks in a match with Cameroon and DR Congo, fined $5000 for throwing objects in a Qatar 2022 first leg qualifying match with Morocco.

Consecutively, DR Congo after incurring the wrath of FIFA in the first leg tie with Morocco were fined $120,000 and has been contained to play one match without a spectator after their fans threw objects and invaded the field of play.

FIFA added that the Congolese failed to maintain law and order in the stadium and also failed to organise the match properly.

Morocco and Egypt got the sanctions from FIFA’s disciplinary actions to ensure sanity in the game of football. Morocco were fined $30,000 for lighting fireworks, throwing objects and
blocking of stairways while Egypt were fined $6000 for team misconduct.

Senegal national team were handed a $175,000 fine and has been constrained to play one match without their fans in the stadium.

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