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NSF: Violence rocks women’s final as Edo win football gold

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Tito Obi

Aggrieved fans pelted the fourth official with water containers, plastics and sticks immediately after Team Edo women’s football side defeated their counterparts from Lagos 1-0 in the final of the 20th National Sports Festival, played at the University of Benin Sports Complex, to claim gold.

A fight broke out after Lagos fans pelted the official, who  displayed an additional one minute after full time.

Angry Lagos officials and fans said more minutes should have been awarded after medical personnel of Team Edo had spent about 10 minutes attending to their injured goalkeeper on the pitch.

Immediately after the final whistle, a squabble ensued between players of both teams, with officials also involved in heated arguments.

As some fans began to find their way onto the pitch, throwing dangerous weapons, a security personnel believed to be a policeman, slapped a Lagos fan, who was accused of masterminding the brawl.

This aggravated the chaos, which led to exchange of punches by the female players, officials and fans. Some fans wielded knives and other weapons as tension heightened.

Acting Head of Security at the sports complex, Oyinlo Emmanuel, said the accused security official would be identified and punished, insisting that he was not a policeman.

He said, “We have the Assistant Commissioner of Police, who is on the matter. Our position here as the security personnel is to provide security and not to interfere with whatever happens.

“I want to state categorically that the man who slapped the fan is not an officer of the Nigeria Police Force. He has been cautioned and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against him.”

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