The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) late Wednesday in Abuja announced the cessation of all forms of football activities in the country for the next four weeks.
Ademola Olajire, the NFF Director of Communications, in a statement said the shutdown was “as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic’’.
He said the shutdown affected all on-field activities involving the various national teams, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the other leagues, youth football programmes and “even street football’’.
Olajire quoted the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, as saying “the cessation will be for four weeks, after which the situation will be reviewed in line with events and trends worldwide’’.
The NFF president was also quoted as advising all members of the football family to observe the various safety precautions and conduct as advised.
“They should observe the precautions as advised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), such as hand-washing, the use of sanitisers and social distancing.’’
Pinnick was further quoted as saying the only football activity that would be permitted was the work of the NFF investigation committee into the death of Chineme Martins.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee was inaugurated on Tuesday in Benin City and is expected to submit its report within the next 10 days.
Meanwhile, the ongoing 2019/2020 NPFL has been suspended till further notice in line with global health preventive protocol against the coronavirus disease, ostensibly in line with NFF’s directive.
“The decision is to conform with the guidelines for containment of the spread of the global pandemic,’’ the LMC, who are the organisers of NPFL, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The LMC, in suspending the league’s remaining matches, said it would review the decision after consulting the nation’s health authorities, such as the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC.