LMC Sanctions Abia Warriors, Sunshine Stars and Enyimba

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* Lists 12 referees for exclusion from league matches

Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors have been sanctioned by the League Management Company (LMC) for the disruptive behaviour of their fans in recent matches just as Enyimba’s Masseur, Mr. Ifeanyi Kalu, was handed a one year ban from all activities of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) while the Aba club was fined N250,000.

LMC has also written to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) requesting the exclusion of 12 referees from further officiating of NPFL matches pending investigations into their respective performances in recent matches.

The league organisers announced yesterday that N2.7million fine has been imposed on Sunshine Stars for various breaches of the rule including failure to provide adequate security, assault on match officials, throwing of object into the field of play, delaying the start of the second half and throwing of object at an official of Heartland FC.

The breaches, according to the LMC, were committed in the course of Sunshine’s Match-day 33 fixture against Heartland at the Akure Township Stadium.

In addition to the fine, Sunshine Stars is to play its rescheduled Match-day 17 fixture against Warri Wolves behind closed doors.
LMC also ruled that the assaulted Assistant Referee and the injured Heartland official will be paid compensations of N250, 000 each from the fine.

Also, Abia Warriors are being sanctioned for the conduct of its fans in the Match-day 34 fixture against FC IfeanyiUbah and has been fined a total of N2.5m in addition to playing two matches behind closed door.

The club was fined N1m for encroachment of fans into the field of play while a fine of N750, 000 is to be paid for the club’s failure to provide adequate security for the match officials immediately after the match. Each of the three match officials are to be paid N250, 000 each as compensation by the club for the assault perpetrated by their fans on the match officials. Abia Warriors are also to replace the FIFA match wrist watch the referee lost during the fracas.

According to the Summary Jurisdiction Notice issued the club, the fan(s) who assaulted the match officials must be apprehended by Abia Warriors and handed over to law enforcement agencies for prosecution. The sanction further ordered that should the club fail to produce the culprit(s) after seven days from the date of the notice, a fine of N250, 000 shall accrue for each day until the order is complied with.

The club has until close of business today, September 16, to respond in writing indicating acceptance of the charges or electing to appear before a commission.

For performances that have been perceived to have raised integrity concerns in recent league matches, the LMC has written to the NFF requesting for the immediate exclusion of 12 Referees from officiating in matches pending the review of their performances in the said matches.

The 12 match officials are made up of four centre referees and eight assistant referees who officiated in fixtures of Match Day 33, 34 and 35. The matches are Match Day 33 in Makurdi between Nasarawa United and Rangers International, match day 34 fixture in Umuahia between Abia Warriors and FC IfeanyiUbah, match day 35 in Nnewi between FC IfeanyiUbah and Akwa United and that in Lokoja between Niger Tornadoes and Enyimba.