Disappointing News for Nigerian Soccer Fans
The Federal Government of Nigeria announced in Abuja on Thursday 6 August that outdoor non-contact sports are finally allowed! This is the first time the government has allowed such sport since the country began lockdown in March. Recreational parks are also open for exercise again, under strict rules. The news will no doubt delight sports loving Nigerians in general, but it seems soccer fans still have longer to wait.
National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, still warns against social interaction in parks. Only supervised physical exercise is allowed for now. “For recreational parks that are unable to enforce this, we expected them to remain closed,” Aliyu elaborated.
[Credit: “press release” or https://thenationonlineng.net/fed-govt-lifts-ban-on-tennis-non-contact-sports/ or https://cheeronnigeria.blogspot.com/2020/08/fg-lifts-ban-on-outdoor-non-contact.html?utm_source=news.betking.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=news.betking.com ]
So What Sports ARE Allowed?
“For outdoor non-contact sports, these include tennis, table tennis, squash, badminton, cycling, athletics, golf, polo, para-athletics, cricket and other non-contact outdoor communal activities. In the event that people are not certain, please contact the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports for further guidance,” said Aliyu.
Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development in Nigeria, chimed in via Twitter the next day. “On behalf of Sports loving Nigerians, I wish to thank President Buhari through the PTF on COVID-19 for approving the return of non-contact sports in the country. All non-contact Sports listed must obey the COVID-19 Sports Protocol.”
How Can Soccer Fans Keep Busy?
Thankfully, there still plenty of exciting soccer events for Punters to watch and bet on in the meantime until Nigeria’s favourite sport makes its highly anticipated comeback!
The second season of the Nations League finally begins on Thursday 3 September. Portugal is the defending champion as we go into the group stage. Ranked into Leagues A, B, C, D, 16 teams will go head-to-head until October. Of course, we cannot forget about the English Premier League either. On Saturday 12 September, season 29 kicks off.
Nigerian superstar Joe Aribo also continues to make his home country proud. He currently plays midfielder for Rangers Football Club in the Scottish Premier League. At just 24 years old, the award-winning midfielder will hopefully return to the field on Saturday 29 August. A recent ankle injury put him out of Rangers’ last two matches. But it is only a matter of time until he returns to the team, who are currently in first place in the Scottish Premier League.
Also important to remember is to continue practising social distancing. Make sure you are wearing your mask properly and maintain good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly and regularly!
Three weeks have now passed since the Federal Government’s announcement. While soccer fans eagerly wait for the go-ahead on the return of contact sports, there is no news yet. Rest assured, Afribet will keep you updated! As soon as football in Nigeria finally returns, punters will be among the first to know.