The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 have advised the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Football Federation against breaching the Covid-19 protocol by not allowing fans into the Nations Cup game against Sierra Leone.
In a letter to the Deputy Governor of Edo State Comrade Philip Shaibu, the Ministry said” 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. Testings 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 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.”
The PTF is worried about a spike following a second wave of Covid-19 and is considering another lockdown .
The Edo State Government had announced that the gates would be thrown open to allow fans watch the game.
The match is billed for the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin.