FIFA imposes stadium bans on Nigeria, Senegal

FIFA has ordered African champions Senegal and Nigeria to play one match behind closed doors after crowd disorder during last month’s 2022 World Cup play-offs.

Nigeria were hit with a one-game stadium closure and fined 150,000 Swiss francs after fans invaded the pitch in Abuja following their play-off defeat by Ghana.

Government had thrown the stadium gates open as part of efforts to cheer the Eagles to victory, after the first leg of the final playoffs between the fierce rivals ended goalless in Kumasi four days earlier.

However, after the game, irate fans invaded the main bowl of the stadium, destroying everything in sight as Ghana advanced on the away goal rule following a 1-1 stalemate with the Eagles in Abuja.


The fans also vented their anger on the celebrating Black Stars players, pelting them with water bottles until they found a way out of the newly renovated pitch.

After chasing the Ghanaians off, they then started pulling the grass as well as destroying the technical area and shattering the glasses.

Efforts by security operatives to dispatch the mob with teargas canisters was in vain, as the fans wreaked more havoc, pelting the VIP stand from the pitch side with different objects.

Also, fans shone laser pointers at Egypt star Mohamed Salah as he missed in the penalty shootout, won by Senegal, in the second leg in Dakar.

Senegal were fined 175,000 Swiss francs ($180,000) over several incidents, including a pitch invasion, an offensive banner and for failing “to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium”.

FIFA issued a raft of sanctions worldwide after studying dozens of cases from World Cup qualifying games played since the start of the year.

DR Congo and Lebanon received similar punishments following disturbances at games against Morocco and Syria respectively.