Nigeria, Senegal Sanctioned By FIFA Over Fans Violence And Failure To Maintain Order

The world's football governing body, FIFA has issued a raft of sanctions worldwide on Monday after studying dozens of cases from World Cup qualifying games played since the start of the year.

Nigeria is among the countries penalized by the disciplinary panel after imposing  $154,000 (N63.9 million) fine on the three time African champions for violence at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on March 29, following the country's failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar

FIFA has also ordered that the country's next international encounter be played behind closed doors.

FIFA, on the other hand, allowed for an appeal.

Following Nigeria's 1-1 draw with Ghana, hundreds of fans encroached on the pitch, trashing the technical area and pelting the VIP section of the stadium, knocking the Super Eagles out of the final playoffs for the 2022 World Cup on the away goal rule.

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The sanctions were handed in a letter updated on April 28 by FIFA's Disciplinary Committee, which has summary jurisdiction over the qualifications.

Nigeria sanctions were mainly because Nigeria Football Federation failed to apply 'Order and security at matches (failure to implement existing principles of safety and failure to make sure that law and order are maintained on the pitch, invasion of pitch by fans and throwing of harmful objects).'

According to FIFA, the violence experienced at the stadium breached the Article 16 of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

Along with Nigeria, 45 other countries were also sanctioned and warned by FIFA for misconduct during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

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Senegal's Football Federation has been fined $180,000 by FIFA for fans disorder, and the use of lasers pointers on Mo Salah in the penalty shoot-out, during their World Cup Qualifying play-off game against Egypt.

Salah's face was a blur of vivid green light when he prepared to take his penalty, which he blasted over the bar. Senegal went on to win the shootout in Dakar in March with Salah's Liverpool teammate Sadio Mané scoring the decisive spot-kick that sends the Teranga Lions to the 2022 World Cup tournament in Qatar.

FIFA said its disciplinary committee also looked into a pitch invasion by Senegal fans, an offensive banner and the national federation’s “failure to ensure that law and order is maintained in the stadium.”

The African champions will also play one match without fans, as part of their punishment. 

Meanwhile the Egypt Football Association were fined $6,000 after the referee in the second leg in Dakar cautioned six individuals on the Pharaohs squad for misconduct.

2019 African champions Algeria was fined $3,000 for "order and security at matches (lighting of fireworks and throwing of objects on the pitch) after being unhappy with several referees decision which saw the Desert foxes eliminated by Cameroon in front of their own fans on away goals rule.

FIFA also imposed fines of $128,000 on DR Congo, and $103,000 on Lebanon in similar cases at games against Morocco and Syria, respectively. Both got one-game behind closed doors.

Meanwhile Morocco themselves have to pay $30,000 for the "lighting of fireworks, throwing of objects and blocked stairways" at the second leg game at the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca.

Discrimination by fans of Chile and Colombia at their home games, plus other offenses, resulted in total fines of $98,000 and $56,500, respectively.

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