Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) monday imposed a $5,000 fine on Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for overcrowding during the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 qualifying match between Nigeria and Egypt in Kaduna.
NFF incurred the wrath of CAF for poor crowd control measures that saw about 40,000 fans lumbered into the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna in the AFCON 2017 Group G fixture on March 25.
The decision was made by the CAF Disciplinary Board which reviewed the case in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 16.
CAF also warned Nigeria that further sanctions would be applied in the event of similar incidents in the future.
The board acted on the report submitted by Match Commissioner Abbasi Ssendyowa of Uganda and live television coverage which established the lapses against the Nigerian federation.
The Kaduna State government had thrown the gates open, leading to overcrowding by spectators, who breached the perimeter fencing and spilled into restricted technical areas.
Some of the fans even mounted on the floodlights, scoreboard and television stand, putting their lives at great risk to cheer the Super Eagles.
Nigeria, however, conceded a late goal to Egypt to end the match 1-1, while their dream to appear at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations final came to a sad end three days later, when the Pharaohs defeated Nigeria 1-0 in Alexandria.