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FIFA, CAF probes Nigeria, Zambia match

*For Zambian fans’ political message

Fifa and the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) have launched an investigation into the behaviour of the Copper Bullets fans during Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Zambia on Saturday evening.

Photographs show the Zambian fans displaying a banner: “H.E. E.C. LUNGU GOD BLESS YOU,” in the stands at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in support of “unpopular” Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

FIFA does not allow political messages during matches, which means that Zambia could be fined by football’s governing bodies as a result at the end of the inquiry.

The Chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, Claudio Sulser, was quoted as saying by Zambian Observer: “However, keeping in mind that the rules need to be applied in a neutral and fair manner across FIFA’s 211 member associations, the display, among others, of any political or religious symbol is strictly prohibited.

“In the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.”

It is claimed that the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) were not aware of the political behaviour of the Zambian fans in Uyo stadium on the said day.

Fans want replay of the match:  We are heading back to Zambia to work out modalities on how to present our case to FIFA for justice to be carried out. We scored a good goal and the decision of the referee did not help matters. Stephen Eruaga said

An aggrieved Kundah Pandawe could not hide his disappointment for referee Joshua Bondo’s decision to cancel Augustine Mulenga’s goal in the 24th minute.

Mulenga’s goal is a clear goal which could have stood, referee Bondo’s decision changed and affected this game for us. If Senegal can get justice, then the Chipolopolo can also get. We are the Copper bullet, !!! yes we are the Copper bullet, an aggrieved Kundah Pandawe concluded.

FIFA recently ordered a replay of the World Cup qualifying match between South Africa and Senegal after the referee awarded a penalty for a nonexistent handball.

The referee Joseph Lamptey was banned for life due to his obvious match manipulation.

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