Moshood Abiola National Stadium Not Banned By FIFA, To Host 2023 AFCON Qualifier June — Dare

_As Ministry Receives Investigative Committee Report_

The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has said that Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, was not banned by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) as widely speculated by some sections of the media, following the aftermath of the Nigeria/Ghana play off qualifier held in Abuja on March 27, 2022 .

Mr Dare disclosed this yesterday in his office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium when he received the report of the Presidential Investigative Committee on the vandalisation of the Stadium set up by the Federal Government.

The Minister who expressed regrets over the fine imposed on Nigeria as a result of the vandalism said, he was however satisfied that the Stadium was not banned as it is billed to play host to Nigeria’s first game of the 2023 African Cup of Nations qualifiers coming up early June this year.

Dare who commended members of the Committee for their doggedness and extensive work stated further that the document will serve as a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Ministry and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in planning for future matches across the country.

He assured the Sani Mohammed-led Committee that the Ministry will implement the recommendations of the report, adding that where culprits of vandalism are identified, Government will not hesitate to bring full wrought of the law on such individuals appropriately.

Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar thanked the Committee members for making themselves available for the important national assignment due to the impressive work being carried out in the last five weeks.

Abubakar explained that the ugly scenario of vandalism of the stadium facilities necessitated the setting up of the Presidential Investigative Committee, assuring that the report will serve as check and balances for the Ministry in the nearest future.

While presenting the Presidential Investigative Panel Committee report to the Minister, the Chairman, DIG Sani Mohammed (Rtd) expressed gratitude to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Ministry, for giving the members the opportunity to serve the nation.

He noted that, in carrying out the task assigned for members of the Committee, standard best practices were adopted even as on-the-spot assessments of vandalized facilities were conducted to ensure equity, fairness and justice.

Mohammed added that some of the key recommendations of the Committee was the involvement of protocol and security officials in the planning stages of future marches and tournaments while the sales of bottle water and canned drinks should be banned within the pitch facility during any sporting events as as they can be used as weapons.

Mohammed Manga
Director (Press & Public Relations)
May 10, 2022

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