A commotion ensued at the 20th National Sports Festival, today, as fans were chased out of the Ogbemudia Indoor Sports Hall, the venue of the Kick Boxing event.
Trouble started after the gate was opened and fans who were eager to watch their athletes fight rushed in without adhering to the social distancing rule and other guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
The fans overcrowded the venue and were uncontrollable for officials who were there to ensure adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
However, armed men of the Nigeria Police Force and the security task force members later intervened and walked the crowd out of the gym.
One of the fans yelled, “Why will you send us out and deny us watching our athletes?”
Nelson Oluigbo, Head Referee, Kickboxing Federation of Nigeria, said, “We had to send everyone out because the place was too crowded, which is against the COVID-19 protocols.
“The NCDC officials were here yesterday (Sunday) and they hammered on the fact that we must follow the protocols but immediately we opened the gate, the crowd rushed in.
“Only athletes, their trainers and journalists will be allowed into the venue. That is the rule and we have to ensure that everything is in order. We know it is not easy for everyone at the moment but we just have to accept things the way they are.”