The Nigerian Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in an official letter to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, stated that fans were barred from entering the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin when the Super Eagles of Nigeria takes on the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match on Friday, November 13, 2020. With this development, the game is set to be played behind closed doors as the Ministry revealed that it was part of agreements reached with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the reopening of contact sports in the country including football.
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It will be recalled that the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, had initially stated that fans will be allowed into the stadium but will be limited in number to maintain social distance, but with the statement from the Sports Ministry, Gernot Rohr and his charges will now have to get the job done without support from fans.
The ministry wishes to bring to your urgent attention that in compliance with the condition of no gathering agreed upon by the ministry and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 before the Federal Government opened up football and contacts sports, the match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone will not have any audience. No gathering save for players, match officials and government officials from both countries. Testings must be conducted on all of them prior to the match.
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The Super Eagles, who currently top Group L of the qualifiers, will be hoping to get the victory at the newly renovated Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, before travelling to Freetown for the second leg of the encounter scheduled to hold on November 17, 2020.
Featured image source: Goal.com
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