The match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Pharaohs of Egypt ended 1-1 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, but no thanks to the Kaduna state government who risked the lives of fans by opening the stadium to fans.
The 16,000 capacity Ahmadu Bello stadium which was designed in 1965 by the English architects Jane Drew and Maxwell Fr was exposed to vandalism by the Kaduna state government, when they announced that the gate be opened wide for fans to troupe in and watch the Super Eagles take on Egypt.
This ‘kind’ but dangerous magnanimity shown by the Kaduna state government did not only subject the facilities of the stadium to destruction, it also endangered the lives of fans who made their way to the floodlights and scoreboard in the bid to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.
No doubt, the normal capacity of the stadium was doubled and the abnormal capacity reached an average of 40,000 making it practically possible for congestion, suffocation and fans encroachment to take place.
This gesture did not only expose the stadium and fans to danger, it also flouts the rules of FIFA which states that “The maximum number of of spectators admitted into the stadium shall not exceed the stadium’s agreed maximum safe capacity”.
It will be recalled that last year, the Nigeria Football Federation was fined $5000 by CAF for fans’ encroachment during the game against Chad in the same stadium. But It looks as if NFF had not learnt anything from that decision when it brought this game to Kaduna and agreed to the terms of the Kaduna state government.
However, there was no recorded case of casualty or death