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Poor crowd control as fans invade pitch

By John Egbokhan
The Football Federation last night at the Teslim Balogun Stadium still showed incompetence in the area of crowd control, a problem they have always encountered in hosting international matches in Abuja. The crowd invaded the pitch shortly after Enyimba FC emerged champions of this year’s FA Cup, beating Sharks 1-0. Police and  other security officials were nowhere to be found.

Sani Lulu Abdulahi, Chairman NFF
Sani Lulu Abdulahi, Chairman NFF

Enyimba, who were two times champions of the Champions League, came into yesterday’s match with high hopes, and expectedly, did much of the playing in the first half, but could not score in the early minutes due to poor finishing and ill luck. But with coach Eguavoen barking out instructions from the side lines to his boys, they became more aggressive as they sought the opening goal which deservedly came in the 35th minute when Musa Mustapha nodded in a beautiful cross that beat Sharks goalkeeper, Vincent Henry.

The goal was wildly celebrated by Lagos fans who were a delight to watch as football returns to its home Lagos. The fans yearned for more goals, but the two teams were lacking in finishing and the match ended 1-0 in the first half.

In the second half, the tempo of the match dropped as Sharks who were expected to come out for an equalizer simply ran out of ideas. Kadiri Ikhana, Sharks coach, was unable to motivate his boys beyond their level and Enyimba with a lone goal advantage simply relaxed. As the match drew to an end, Enyimba were able to hold their own and won their only silverware in the 2009 season.

But the joy of the game was soured when security officers were nowhere to be found as fans invaded the pitch in celebration of Enyimba’s victory.


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