Bottled water, canned drinks to be banned during football games in Nigeria

Bottled water, canned drinks to be banned at match venues
Irate football fans on rampage at the renovated MKO Abiola national stadium Abuja on March 29, 2022

Bottled water and canned drinks should be forbidden within the borders of football pitches at match sites, according to the Presidential Investigative Committee on the vandalism of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.

This was revealed in a report recently presented to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, by a committee led by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Sanni Mohammed (rtd).

In his contribution, the Chairman commended the federal government, through the Minister, for selecting committee members who were qualified for the job, noting that the Committee followed the terms of reference to the letter and did its best to provide broad recommendations.

Aside from the bottled water and canned drinks advice, the Committee recommended that protocol and security officials be included in the planning stages of future events.

“One of our important recommendations is that protocol and security officials be involved in the planning stage of future events or competitions,” DIG Mohammed(Rtd) stated.

Following receipt of the report, the Minister praised the Committee for their considerable work, which he described as “quite outstanding.”

He vowed that the study would be fully implemented and that the recommendations would serve as a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Ministry and the NFF in arranging future events.

Dare vowed to punish those responsible for the damage, saying that if they are identified in the investigation, the full force of the law will be applied against them as a deterrent.

The Minister expressed disappointment with the fine levied on Nigeria as a result of the damage but expressed relief that the stadium was not shut down, as it is set to host Nigeria’s opening game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in early June.

The Presidential Investigative Committee was set up to uncover the remote and immediate causes of the vandalisation of the MKO Abiola national stadium in Abuja on March 29 after the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.