AFCON 2023: NFF reiterates Nigeria, Sierra Leone match will be behind closed door

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The Nigeria Football Federation has reiterated that Thursday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying encounter between the Super Eagles and the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja will be played without fans in the stands.

NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi said in Abuja on Tuesday that the situation is a consequence of the one-match ban placed on the country by world football –governing body, FIFA over the fracas that followed the end of 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff round against the Black Stars of Ghana in March.

“We want to appeal to our very passionate football fans to take heart for this one game. It is only a one-match ban, after which they can again start trooping out to support the Super Eagles.

“The match against Sierra Leone will be without fans as a consequence of what happened after the match against the Ghanaians.

“Nonetheless, we want to urge all our football fans, and indeed all Nigerians, to support the team whichever way they can and pray for success against the Sierra Leoneans on Thursday.”

The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja in a Day 1 game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations starting from 5pm on Thursday, 9th June.

Four days later, they tackle ‘The Falcons and True Parrots’of São Tomé and Príncipe at the 45,000 –capacity Grand Stade de Agadir in southern Morocco.

While CAF has appointed Ivorian officials to take charge of the encounter in Abuja, Liberian officials led by referee Hassen Corneh will oversee the match in Agadir on Monday.