Thursday Mar 19, 2020. 14:00
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced a halt to all football in the country for the next four weeks as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
According to a statement issued by the Federation, the shutdown affects “all on-field activities the various National Teams, the Nigeria Professional Football League, the other Leagues, youth football programmes and even street football”.
The statement continues, “President of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said the cessation will be for four weeks after which the situation will be reviewed in line with events and trends worldwide.
“He also advised all members of the football family to observe the various safety precautions and conduct as advised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, such as hand-washing, the use of sanitizers and social distancing.
“Pinnick also stated that the only football activity that will be permitted is the work of the NFF investigation committee into the death of Chineme Martins, which was inaugurated yesterday in Benin City and will submit its report within the next 10 days.”
Martins collapsed on field during a top-flight league match between his team Nararawa United and Katsina United earlier this month.
He was rushed to Dalhatu-Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia but pronounced dead on arrival.
Nigeria’s decision to shut down football follows the trend set both on the continent and worldwide, with the epidemic having decimated the sporting calendar.