FIFA exacts stadium bans on Nigeria, Senegal

The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has ordered African champions Senegal and Nigeria to play one match behind closed doors following the crowd disorder at the last 2022 World Cup play-offs.

A one-game stadium closure and fine worth 150,000 Swiss francs were imposed on Nigeria after fans invaded the pitch in Abuja following their play-off defeat by Ghana.

The government had opened the stadium gates in a bid to cheer the Eagles to victory after the first leg of the final playoffs between the fierce rivals ended goalless in Kumasi four days earlier.

However, angry fans invaded the main bowl of the stadium after the game, destroying everything in sight as Ghana advanced on the away goal rule following a 1-1 stalemate with the Eagles in Abuja.

The crowd also vented their anger on the celebrating Black Stars players, pelting them with water bottles until they found a way out of the newly renovated pitch.

Efforts by security operatives to dispatch the mob with teargas canisters were in vain, as the fans wreaked more havoc, pelting the VIP stand from the pitch side with different objects.

In Dakar, fans shone laser pointers at Egypt star Mohamed Salah as he missed in the penalty shootout, won by Senegal.

Senegal was fined 175,000 Swiss francs ($180,000) over several incidents, including a pitch invasion, an offensive banner, and for failing “to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium”.



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