The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-off between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Black Stars of Ghana may be over, but the after-mouth discussions of issues that rose from the second leg in Abuja are yet to be put to rest, as the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) issues statement seeking to correct what it describes as “stream of incorrect reports being peddled in sections of the media”.
Ghana secured qualification to the World Cup head of Nigeria after defeating their fellow West African brothers on away goal rule following a 1-1 draw between the two sides at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, after the first leg produced no goals between the sides in Kumasi, Ghana.
After the match last Tuesday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, fans of the home team invaded the pitch right after the final whistle, assaulted some Ghanaians in the stadium and not even the Super Eagles players were spared. The angry home fans openly vandalized every property they laid their hands on in the stadium – the advertising banners, boards, chairs, the technical dug out seats and just to mention few.
Media reports after the brawl were that the unruly fans had stolen the VAR machine used at the stadium, and that the FIFA had placed an indefinite ban on the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, but the NFF has now come out to deny any of those.
“We are alarmed at the influx of incorrect reports, otherwise known as fake news, mostly in the social media. There is no truth to the reports that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja has been banned for any length of time by FIFA. It is a concoction by some persons with fertile imagination. The NFF has not received any such communication from either FIFA or CAF.”, a statement by the NFF on Monday read.
“There has also been an outlandish report that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) equipment that was installed for the match had been stolen. We initially thought this was an April Fool prank but it is alarming that some media outlets are taking it serious. Nothing of such happened. The VAR equipment remains intact and has been returned to the FIFA office in Zurich, Switzerland by Sebastian Runge, FIFA’s Head of Technology”, the statement added.