FIFA Fines Nigeria, Ban Fans From National Stadium Abuja


FIFA, world’s football governing body, has imposed a $150,000 fine on Nigeria following the disturbances that followed the Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Ghana in a 2022 World Cup playoff at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja.

The draw led to the non-qualification of Nigeria for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In addition to the fine, fans have been barred from the Stadium in Abuja, as Nigeria will host Sierra Leone in the first qualifying match of the 2023 AFCON next month.

In a letter sent to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on May 1, 2022, FIFA approved the edifice built-in 2003 to host the qualifier against Sierra Leone but without fans as punishment for the fracas that took place after Ghana snatched the ticket to Qatar 2022 on the away goal rule.

This approval has now put to an end speculations in the local media that the Abuja Stadium will be barred from hosting international matches in the wake of the crowd disturbances.

Over 60,000 fans crammed the stadium in Nigeria’s last game of the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar. Naturally, after Super Eagles held the Ghanaians to a goalless draw in the first leg in Kumasi, the home fans were expecting nothing short of victory and the ticket to Nigeria’s seventh World Cup appearance after making its debut at USA ’94.

But the Black Stars stunned the hosts, racing to an early minute lead through Arsenal star Thomas Party. William Troost-Ekong canceled out the goal, but the Eagles failed to get a second to earn the ticket; the failure was too hard for the fans to swallow.

They resorted to destroying the edifice that hosted the All African Games in 2003. By the time dust settled, the damage done to the facility had been estimated to cost a couple of millions of naira to fix.

The fans’ action resulted in speculations in the local media that the stadium may not witness any international game in the foreseeable future.

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