The Nigeria Police Force says it has placed 500 police officers on standby to ensure a hitch-free AFCON 2019 qualifying match between Nigeria and South Africa in Uyo on Saturday.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Force’s Akwa Ibom Command, DSP Chukwu Ikechukwu, on Wednesday in Uyo said the officers were ready for action.

Ikechukwu, who spoke on behalf of the state’s Commissioner of Police, CP Donald Awunah, said Awunah was determined to guarantee that football-loving Nigerians enjoyed the match under a peaceful atmosphere.

“The CP has directed the deployment of over 500 specially selected officers, knowledgeable in crowd control and policing events, to provide top notch security before, during and after the football match.

“In addition, due to the influx of football fans into the state, adequate crime-reduction strategies have been put in place to check crime and criminalities throughout the state.

“This is in addition to existing anti-crime measures in the state,’’ he said.

Ikechukwu said the Commissioner of Police has therefore urged all foiotball fans visiting the state to conduct themselves in a most orderly and hospitable manner.

He said the Command, in collaboration with sister security agencies and other stakeholders in sports administration, was working tirelessly to facilitate adequate security in accordance with international standard.

Ikechukwu, however, warned that the Command would not hesitate to deal decisively with miscreants and sports hooligans who might take undue advantage of the peace and security existing in Akwa Ibom.

Newsmen report that the AFCON 2019 qualifying match is scheduled to hold at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.

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