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AITEO Cup Final: Fans call for more stringent sanctions against crowd violence

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A cross-section of football fans on Sunday urged football authorities in the country to apply more stringent sanctions on clubs whose supporters get involved in violence at match venues.

Reacting to the violence which trailed the 2019 Aiteo Cup finals at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna on Sunday, the fans described the violence as one too many.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that crowd violence disrupted the final of the 2019 Aiteo Cup final after Kano Pillars had won the match against Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna.

They had won via a penalty kicks shootout which ended 4-3, after 90 minutes of play had ended goalless.

Trouble started when fans of Kano Pillars encroached the pitch in celebration of their club’s victory, with the move by security personnel to disperse the crowd worsening the situation.

The fans who spoke with NAN expressed disappointment with what they described as a show of shame and embarrassment to the nation.

James Jamil, a Kaduna-based fan, said: “We came here to enjoy football, but the attitude of those fans at the end of the game was uncalled for. We were all teargassed for no just cause”.

On his part, Peter Andrew who came in for the match from Abuja called for severe sanctions against the erring club.

“This kind of behaviour should not be tolerated by the football authorities in the country. It is very important to set up an investigative panel and appropriate sanctions placed on erring clubs,” he said.

Another football fan, Friday Matthew who is based in Jos described as poor the crowd control mechanism put in place by organisers, saying it was responsible for the sad development.

“How can you have a big event like this and the crowd control will be this poor?” he said.

Also, Kano-based Usman Auwalu described the development as a shame and national disgrace for football lovers who came from different parts of the country to watch the match.

“Proactive measures should be taken to avoid such occurrence in future.

“We can not come in peace and go back in pieces because of the unruly attitude of some fans,” he said.

(Edited by Bayo Sekoni and Olawale Alabi)

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