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09.10.2003 Sports News

Abuja 2003: Nigeria declares free gate for Games

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Abuja, Oct 9, GNA - The Nigeria government has announced free access to the various venues of the Eighth All Africa Games holding in the federal capital city of Abuja.

Dr Amos Adamu, Executive Director of COJA, the Local Organising Committee announced in Abuja on Wednesday that the directive, which becomes operational on Thursday is to ensure massive turn out at the Games.

He said, however, that a token fee will be charged at the satellite venues hosting the group stages of the football competition as a measure to check crowd control.

Another activity which will attract "very affordable" fees will be the final of the football competition that will precede the closing ceremony On October 18.

The Director General hoped the gesture will encourage more sports enthusiasts to throng the venues and give support to their teams." He directed security operatives to be more vigilant and enforce orderliness, as free access to the Games are expected to increase the number of spectators.

Spectatorship at the Abuja Games had been rather low, as vacant seats outnumber those occupied by fans.

At the Velodrome where Ghana lost miserably to Nigeria in a male Handball match, only patches were filled.

During a hockey match between Ghana and Namibia, spectators filled below 10 percent capacity of the beautiful Stadium Complex Water Based Astro Turf Stands.

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