BY KUNLE SOLAJA
The post match actions of fans after the elimination of Nigeria from the qualifying for the Qatar 2022 World Cups has attracted penalties from the football governing body, FIFA. Penalty on Nigeria is the second heaviest.
Consequently, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been fined 150, 000 Swiss Francs ($154,000) (N62,214,000). This becomes double jeopardy considering the loss of minimum of $12 million (N5billion) the country would have obtained had the Super Eagles qualified for the World Cup.
In addition, the Super Eagles will have to play their next home game, qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations against Sierra Leone in an empty Stadium.
The CHF150,000 imposed on Nigeria is one of the heaviest among the 35 erring countries. It is only surpassed by that of Senegal which is CHF 175,000.
Both countries committed the same offence. In the case of Nigeria, FIFA sanctioned the country for failure to implement existing safety rules and failure to ensure that law and order were maintained in the 29 March World Cup qualifiers with Ghana at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The crowd invasion of the field as thrown of objects were also taken into consideration. While Nigeria is made to cough out CHF 150,000 which will be deducted from the NFF’s account with FIFA, some other erring countries are fined as low as CHF 3,000 for Algeria, CHF 1,000 for Australia and mere warning for Canada.
Only Senegal has a heavier penalty than Nigeria. The Senegalese FA will pay CHF 175,000 and also serve a match behind closed doors like Nigeria. This is as a result failure to implement existing safety rules and failure to ensure that law and order were maintained in the stadium, during their World Cup qualifying match with Egypt.
In addition, they were sanctioned for the invasion of the field of play, throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, use of laser pointers and use of objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports events – offensive banner.
But unlike Nigeria, the Senegalese have a larger purse as $2.5 million await them for World Cup qualification and another $10 million for the three group matches they will play in November. If they move beyond the group stage, their earning will increase.
This is in addition to S6million prize money they earned from the Africa Cup of Nations victory last February where Nigeria got nothing.
An overview of the sanctions imposed on erring countries is available in here.