AFCON qualifier: Ladipo urges fans to show understanding on empty stadium

As the Super Eagles prepare to host Sierra-Leone on Friday in the first leg of their double-header Cameroon AFCON 2021 qualifiers at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo has appealed to football fans in the country not to be angry that they will not have the opportunity of watching the match live.

Confederation of African football (CAF) early this week ruled that in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines, fans, supporters club and journalists will not be allowed into the stadium and Ladipo believes the decision was taken in the best interest of the fans so as not to have another spike in the pandemic especially now that the curve have been flattened in the country.

According to him, it would’ve been nice to watch the game live after a very long time of inactivity in contact sports caused by the dreaded virus, just as he charged football fans to continue to pray for the team reminding them that the decision is not from the NFF but CAF and FIFA.

“It’s very painful that fans who have been eagerly waiting for this game will not watch it live, especially when one remembers that the match is coming many months after the suspension of contact sports because of COVID-19 pandemic. Fans should remember that it’s better to stay save than to end in the grave. They should also exercise patience because very soon things will normalise and they have opportunity of watching live matches”, he stressed.

While expressing optimism that the Super Eagles will pick the maximum points on Friday and get at least a draw in the reverse fixture on November 17 in Freetown, Ladipo charged the players to be 100% committed in both encounters even as he urged all members of the Supporters Club and all Nigerian football fans to wear the national colour on Friday in solidarity with the national team.

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