The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) has revealed that the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and their counterparts from Lesotho will be played under strict adherence to COVID-19 health protocols in line with the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) directives.
The Executive Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Sola Aiyepeku, made the disclosure, noting that the Lagos State government would abide by CAF’s decisions on the need for fan control as a necessary decision for public safety. As such, the chance of Lagos fans watching the Super Eagles live at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere on Tuesday, 30th March 2021, would be restricted to just a few thousand fans.
His words: “Authorising Nigeria as the first African Nation to have fans in the stadium at this time speaks volumes of CAF’s confidence in the country and our ability to cope with strict crowd control, as such Lagos has made plans to abide by CAF directives by meeting all requirements”.
“CAF has uniquely given us permission to have a very limited crowd in the stadium for the game because of COVID-19 restrictions in the interest of public safety. As we continue to fight this deadly virus, I want to inform our fans that the game is not open to the general public. Tickets will not be sold”, he declared.
Aiyepeku noted that, although it is not ideal for Super Eagles not to play before a full house on the return to their nest for this first competitive match in Lagos in 20 years, we all have to make sacrifices to ensure all things work out for our long-term good, bearing in mind the unique situation the COVID-19 has put the entire globe.
“We are working with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on a strict selection process for the few fans that will be in the stands. We know most Lagosians really want to see the Super Eagles and we are hopeful that as we all continue to do our part in the effort to fight this pandemic, the Super Eagles will soon be able to play in Lagos before a full capacity crowd cheering them on. Unfortunately, it won’t be for this game”, Aiyepeku explained.
The Chairman averred that the State Government is working hard to successfully host the Match as all hands are on deck to ensure both Super Eagles and Lesotho contingent enjoy Lagos hospitality throughout their stay in the State.
He also revealed that Football Fans would not be allowed to watch the Super Eagles training sessions ahead of the Lesotho game coming up on Tuesday, 30th March 2021.