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The World soccer ruling body, FIFA, yesterday punished several countries including Nigeria and Senegal largely over unruly conducts of fans at some recent international matches as the body’s disciplinary committee imposed series of fines and penalties on erring football federations.
Badly hit is the Nigeria Football Federation as FIFA imposed a 150,000 Swiss Francs (about 154,128.75 USD or about N64 Million) fine on Nigeria following the disruptive behaviour of the fans at the end of the second leg Qatar 2022 World Cup play-off between the Super Eagles and Black Stars of Ghana at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on March 29.
With reported break of law and order after the ill-fated 1-1 draw encounter that saw the Black Stars edged the Super Eagles out of the Qatar 2022 race on the away goals rule. The rowdy scene at the end of the match was equally linked to the death of the FIFA/CAF Doping Officer, Zambian Joseph Kabungo who reportedly slumped and died in the melee.
In its dispatch yesterday, the FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee decried the poor organisation of the match at the newly renovated Moshood Abiola Stadium for lack of order and security at the match, adding there was ‘failure to implement existing safety rules and failure to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium, invasion of the field of play and throwing of objects’.
Apart from the 150,000 CHF fine, Nigeria will play its next home match without fans meaning the Super Eagles forthcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group a match against the visiting Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in June will be played behind closed doors.
In another landmark decision, Senegal was fined 175,000 Swiss francs ($180,000) for fan disorder, including the use of laser pointers. They also looked into a pitch invasion from the home supporters, as well as an offensive banner even as the Teranga Lions are to play a future competitive fixture behind closed doors.
The quartet of Algeria , Egypt , Morocco and DR Congo were also handed penalized for varying breaches with Algeria fined $3,000 for “order and security at matches (throwing of objects and lighting of fireworks)”.
Meanwhile the Egypt Football Association were fined $6,000 after the referee in the second leg in Dakar cautioned six individuals on the Pharaohs squad.
DR Congo will play a match under closed doors after a pitch invasion following their first-leg draw with Morocco and they will also pay a fine of $123,000 with another $5,000 fine for the “throwing of objects” during the second leg of the play-off, which they lost 4-1 in Morocco.
However, Morocco themselves have to pay $30,000 for the “lighting of fireworks, throwing of objects and blocked stairways” at the second leg game at the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca.