The Nigeria Football Federation has banned the presence of journalists from covering the match proceedings between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Lone Stars of Sierra-Leone, the sportsbay.com reports.
The Super Eagles will take on the Lone Stars in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at newly renovated Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on November 13.
This was made known by the NFF Director of Communications, Demola Olajire, speaking with journalists on Monday morning.
“No journalist will be allowed inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City for Friday’s match. This is in accordance to the CAF’s guidelines.”
Asked if journalists will also not be allowed to cover some Super Eagles’ training sessions in Benin City, Olajire said, “I don’t think it will be possible.”
He also informed that the Super Eagles news conferences in Benin City will be staged online, according to the CAF guidelines.
It will be recalled that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development had insisted that Nigeria’s game against Sierra Leone will be played without fans.
In a letter, to the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, the Ministry insisted that the game will be played without fans in adherence to the directives from the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.
“The ministry wishes to bring to your urgent attention that in compliance with the condition of no gathering agreed upon by the ministry and the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 before the Federal Government opened up football and contacts sports, the match between Nigeria and Sierra Leone will not have any audience,” read the letter.
“No gathering save for players, match officials and government officials from both countries. Testings must be conducted on all of them prior to the match.
“The no gathering, no audience for football and contact sports is still in force, which means there shall be no gathering for the Nigerian vs Sierra Leone match, as any violation of this condition may lead to a rollback of the opening up of football and contact sports in the country.
“The PTF and the ministry are on the same page on this matter and the protocol for clearances rests with both the ministry and the PTF when it comes to staging any sports event in Nigeria.
“Full compliance with Covid-19 protocols is to be enforced. The PTF is worried about a spike following the second wave of Covid-19 and is considering another lockdown.”
Nigeria currently lead Group L with six points after securing victories against the Republic of Benin and Lesotho.