The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in alliance with Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 have ruled out the possibility of fans watching the eagerly awaited Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin on November 13.
In a clearly worded advisory to both the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), the authorities said they won’t condone breaching the COVID-19 protocol, adding ‘the no gathering, no audience for football and contact sports’ is still in full force.
In a letter to the Deputy Governor of Edo State Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Ministry noted inter alia : “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 (PTF) 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 and no gathering save for players, match officials and government officials from both countries.
“Testing must be conducted on all of them prior to the match.”
There were speculations earlier in the week, there to allow 7000 fans to watch the crucial match billed for the renovated Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium but both the Ministry and PTF are having none of that.