Reports making rounds today have it journalists in Nigeria have expressed their displeasure on the decision of the Confederation of African Football to bar both journalists and spectators from entering the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium as the Super Eagles of Nigeria battle the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in African Cup of Nations qualifying match in the country.
Ademola Olajire, Nigeria Football Federation’s spokesperson in a statement on Monday made known the decision of the African Football Governing body, but it didn’t go down well with sports journalists in the country.
The statement was titled, ‘AFCON Qualifier: CAF bars media, journalists from Nigeria, Sierra Leone match’.
The statement read in part, “The Confederation of African Football has categorically stated that no journalists or supporters would be allowed inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City for Friday’s 2022 AFCON qualifying match between the Super Eagles and the Leone Stars.
“In the guidelines communicated to the Nigeria Football Federation, CAF instructed, under Media Operations, that there would be no mixed zone, virtual press conference only if possible (media officers from both teams only), and that only the TV channels with the rights will be allowed flash interviews.
“Also, only photographers of participating teams would be allowed at the match.
“The above puts to rest all previous speculations regarding having spectators at the match venue, and whether members of the media would be allowed into the arena.”
The statement also quoted the NFF’s Director of Competitions, Bola Oyeyode, as saying that “only individuals accredited by the NFF would be allowed inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for the Day 3 qualifier, which will kick off at 5pm Nigeria time.”
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The Super Eagles will take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Friday, 13th November before flying to Freetown for the return game on Tuesday, 17th November at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.