President, Super Eagles Supporters Club, Prince Vincent Okumagba (second left) with his members strategising ahead of the Nigeria versus Lesotho AFCON qualifier in Lagos on TuesdayThe Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and their counterparts from Lesotho will be played under strict adherence to COVID-19 health protocols, the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has ordered.
What this means is that the chance of Lagos fans watching their darling Eagles live at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere on Tuesday, is restricted to just a few thousand fans.
Authorising Nigeria as the first African Nation to have so many fans in the stadium at this time speaks volumes of CAF’s confidence in the country and our ability to cope with strict crowd control demands. Lagos has made plans to abide by CAF’s regulations, by meeting all requirements, Executive Chairman, Lagos State s Commission, Sola Aiyepeku stated.
Aiyepeku stated that though it is not the ideal condition for Eagles not to play before a full house on the return to their nest for this first competitive match in Lagos in 20 years, but Nigerians have to make sacrifices to ensure all things work out for ‘our long-term good’ bearing in mind the unique situation COVID-19 has put the entire globe.
He said that Lagos welcomes and would abide by CAF’s decisions on the need for fan control as it’s a necessary decision for public safety.
“CAF has uniquely given us permission to have a very limited crowd in the stadium for the game because of COVID-19 restrictions in the interest of public safety. As we continue to fight this deadly virus, I want to inform our fans that the game is not open to the general public. Tickets will not be sold.
“We are working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on a strict selection process for the few fans that will be in the stands. We know most Lagosians really want to see the Super Eagles, and we are hopeful that as we all continue to do our part in the effort to fight this pandemic, the team will soon be able to play in Lagos before a full capacity crowd cheering them on.Unfortunately, it won’t be for this game.”