The Senate has invited Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick and other agencies involved in the maintenance of the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, to ascertain the extent of the damage to facilities at the national arena.Irate football fans had vandalised facilities at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on March 29 following Super Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Ghana in a World Cup qualifier, which effectively ended Nigeria’s bid to qualify for the global football fiesta scheduled to start in November 2022 in Qatar.
The Upper Legislative Chamber arrived at the resolutions after a Point of Order raised by Senator Michael Nnachi (PDP-Ebonyi) during yesterday’s plenary.
The Senate also mandated its Committee on Sports and Youth Development to investigate the remote and immediate cause(s) of Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in spite of the huge fund by government, individuals and corporate bodies.
While raising the point of order, Nnachi noted with sadness the vandalisation of facilities at the stadium by irate football fans.
“Violent reaction by irate football fans reportedly took place in the aftermath of the Nigeria versus Ghana qualifier, leading to vandalisation of facilities in the stadium and the unfortunate death of Zambian CAF official, Joseph Kabungo.
“The national stadium was jampacked with highly expectant Nigerian football fans throughout the controversial match and the alleged violent reaction of those fans to the outcome of this match has become a subject of local and international media criticism.
“A lot of valuable facilities at the stadium were destroyed, but the extent of destruction is yet to be determined by the relevant government authority.
“There is no gainsaying that the destruction will cause the government of Nigeria several millions of naira to either replace or effect repairs.
“Apart from several unidentified football fans, who were injured as a result of this incident, the death of Dr. Joseph is a huge loss to the global football community.”
Supporting the motion, Senator Abba Moro (PDP-Benue) said it was a very sad day for Nigeria.
“It is sad that Nigerians vented their anger and frustration on the physical stadium.
“There is an urgent need for this Senate, if possible, to intervene to see that our stadia across Nigeria are properly structured and made in such a way that future occurrence or fans invading the pitch or destroying the stadium will be prevented.”