NCDC protocol may force Enyimba to host Orlando Pirates in Benin Republic

The Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control’s (NCDC) regulations on passengers coming from South Africa and England may force Enyimba of Aba to play the home leg of their CAF Confederation Cup tie against Orlando Pirates of South Africa in neigbouring Benin Republic.

The competition’s group phase begins this month in different cities across Africa.

The Guardian recalls that the recent identification of a new variant of the coronavirus in some countries early this year has made Nigeria to impose additional restrictions on international travelers entering the country.

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Starting December 28, 2020, authorities require passengers from the United Kingdom and South Africa to obtain and present a pre-departure permit to fly and a QR code confirming they have booked a COVID-19 test on the seventh day of their trip in Nigeria. Additionally, all travelers from the United Kingdom and South Africa must provide a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result from an exam taken within 96 hours prior to boarding.

Upon arrival, passengers, whose point of origin is either the UK or South Africa, will be processed by the public health authorities separately from those arriving from other destinations. Regardless of the point of origin, quarantine requirements remain in effect for all arriving travelers.

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The new protocol early this year forced CAF to take Rivers United’s Confederation Cup tie against Bloemfontein of South Africa to Benin Republic.

Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Media Director, Ademola Olajire, told The Guardian yesterday that the decision on the Enyimba versus Orlando Pirates’game rests with the NCDC.

Enyimba, who are in Group A, will play their opening game against Ahly Benghazi of Libya on March 10 at the Aba Township Stadium.

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