The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday expressed surprise at the $30,800 fine slammed on the country by world football ruling body, FIFA for alleged crowd encroachment during the Super Eagles 4-0 thrashing of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo in a 2018 World Cup qualifier last month.
The NFF, which said it would appeal the sanctions, has also launched a campaign to ensure that football fans comported themselves in orderly manner during and after Saturday’s match against Zambia at the same venue.
Speaking on the sanction, NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi said yesterday that the Federation has started the awareness campaign to educate the security personnel on how to ensure the fans do not run onto the field of play even after the final whistle.
“We are not happy that Fifa is imposing a fine on us over fans encroachment onto the field of play. To avoid the repeat of such ugly development, an enlightenment campaign is now ongoing to educate the security men that would be on duty during our match against Zambia. We are going to ensure that all aspects of the spectators are enlightened. That fine is no small money,” Sanusi said.
He revealed that the NFF has appealed against the fine, adding that there are evidence to show that nothing of such happened during the game.
According to Sanusi, the NFF has forwarded to Zurich the video clips of the match as evidence. “We were surprised at the fine”, he said.
According to FIFA, Nigeria was fined Improper conduct among spectators (pitch invasion by supporters and invasion of restricted areas by supporters [other than the pitch]) during the game against Cameroon. The offence, it said, violates articles 65 and 67 of the FDCFIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations guiding the qualifiers.
The Eagles’ opponent in Saturday’s World Cup qualifier, Zambia got a lighter fine of $7,000 for their fans’ misconduct during their qualifier against Algeria last month.
FIFA said Zambia for improper conduct among spectators (throwing objects [bottles]), which violates articles 65 and 67 of the FDCFIFA Stadium Safety and Security Regulations.