PTF Lifts Ban on Football and Other Sports

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare

After seven months of lockdown, the Nigerian domestic football may roar back to life as the restriction imposed on contact sports, especially football has been lifted by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

In a tweet released on Thursday evening, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare confirmed that the ban imposed on football by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has been lifted.

Although the minister insisted that all health protocols like wearing of face masks, social distancing and absence of fans in the stadiums are still going to be observed.

The League Management Company (LMC) had on 18 March issued a press statement announcing the suspension of the league owing to the global outbreak of the coronavirus.

That was after some clubs had honoured the Match-day 25 fixtures of the Nigerian topflight.

The minister’s tweet explains: “We welcome the lifting of D ban on football by the PTF. “The lifting of restriction on outdoor activities including football is in line with earlier consultations with Ministry of Youth and Sports and NCDC. However, this is limited to the actual sports itself & not mass gathering.”

In essence, the football matches, as is done in Europe at the moment, will be played without crowd.

Nigeria is expected to host Sierra Leone next month in match-day 3 of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series in Benin City before flying into Freetown for the reverse fixture.