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Nigeria to host Sierra Leone in empty Moshood Abiola Stadium

Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja will host Nigeria’s 2023 AFCON opening qualifier against Sierra Leone in June behind closed doors.

In a letter sent to the NFF, CAF confirmed that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja to be used for the 2023 AFCON qualifier matchday 1 & 2.

However, Fifa has sanctioned the three-time African Champions due to fans’ invasion of the 60,000 capacity at the end of the second leg Qatar 2022 World Cup playoff between the Super Eagles and Black Stars of Ghana at the same venue on March 29 during a 1-1 draw on March 29.

FIFA, in a statement, outlined the following reasons; “Lack of order and security at the match venue, failure to implement existing safety rules, failure to ensure that law and order are maintained in the stadium. Fans invasion of the field of play and throwing of objects.”

FIFA, further imposed a 150,000 Swiss Franc (about 154,128.75 USD) fine on Nigeria.

Sierra Leone pitted in Group A, where they will face three-time Champions Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome or Mauritius, hoping to make successive Africa Cup of Nations appearances.

The last meeting between the two West African nations was a 4-4 draw, played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, on November 20 2022.

Sierra Leone qualified for the 33rd edition of the continental showpiece in Cameroon, second behind Nigeria, after defeating Benin on June 15 2021.

Connect with us on Twitter, @football_sierra, on Facebook/ Instagram, Football Sierra Leone, and the writer Alie Bittar on Twitter @bittar32 – Contact; bittar@footballsierraleonet.

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