The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Ekiti State Chapter, on Monday cautioned football fans in the state against violence during the Nigeria Nationwide League season.
Its Chairman, Mr Ayodeji Ogunsakin gave the advice during a programme tagged “Football for Peace” organised by SWAN for football fans in Ado-Ekiti.
According to him, the game of football has been marred by attacks on match officials and players by fans in the recent times in the state.
Ogunsakin recalled that Ekiti United FC was fined and banished by the league management body two seasons ago as a result of attacks on visiting teams.
“This attitude must stop. As supporters, cheer your teams with claps and good songs, not with bottles, knife, or sticks.”
He said, even though such incidents were not limited to the state, SWAN as a major stakeholder in sports development, would not fold its arms to allow fans destroy the game.
” There is no gain saying that crisis is usually caused at match venues by fans that are aggrieved when they perceive irregularities on the field.
“ The reason for this is not far-fetched, because they are usually at the vantage position outside the field where they see virtually everything that the match officials may not see.
“In most cases, they express their displeasure by engaging in violence.
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“However, the essence of bringing together various fans of our respective football clubs in Ekiti is to advice them to guard against violence during leagues matches in the state.”
During the event, the fans slugged it out in a friendly football match at Oluyemi Kayode stadium, Ado-Ekiti, in which SWAN B team defeated SWAN A 2-1.
At the end of the match, Desmond Alabi, Chairman of the state FA gave the two teams N20, 000 each.(NAN)