Nigeria Set to be Sanctioned by CAF
Nigeria is set to be sanctioned by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for permitting overcrowding at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna during a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Egypt.
The 25,000-capacity Ahmadu Bello Stadium, which was built in 1964, was occupied by more than 40,000 spectators after host Kaduna State government threw open the gates for the fans to watch the game free of charge.
Hundreds of fans stood on the stadium's athletics tracks to watch the match, while the stands were packed to the seams.
“Nigeria will most likely be penalised by CAF for this poor crowd control even though there was no major incident before, during and after the match,” said a worried top official.
“Sanctions for such a shortcoming would be a fine and a warning.”
Another official said the police failed to stop the crowd from gaining access to the stadium even when it was clear the arena’s capacity was already overstretched.
In 2009, poor crowd control caused the death of 19 people before a 2010 World Cup qualifier between hosts Cote d’Ivoire and Malawi.
Investigations said ticketless fans were to blame or the stampede and Ivorian FA were fined $47,000 by FIFA.
A stampede at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana in 2001 caused the death of 127 people.