The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development have overruled the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki on his decision to throw the gates open for the AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Leone Stars of Sierra Leone at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin on November 13.
The sports ministry, in a letter to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu, said it agrees with the PTF in full compliance with COVID-19 protocol of no gathering, no audience for football and other contact sports.
“The ministry wishes to bring to your urgent attention that in compliance with the condition of no gathering agreed upon by the ministry and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 before the Federal Government opened up football and contacts sports, the match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone will not have any audience and no gathering save for players, match officials and government officials from both countries,” the statement said, adding that “testing must be conducted on all of them prior to the match.”
The ministry further disclosed: “The no gathering, no audience for football and contact sports is still in force. Which means there shall be no gathering for the Nigerian vs Sierra Leone match as any violation of this condition may lead to a roll back of the opening up of football and contact sports in the country.”
The statement added that the PTF and the ministry are on the same page on this matter and the protocol for clearances rests with both the ministry and the PTF when it comes to staging any sports event in Nigeria. Full compliance with COVID-19 protocols is to be enforced.”