Sunshine Stars Banished to Ijebu Ode Indefinitely

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* Goalkeeper Ariyo handed 12-match ban

Duro Ikhazuagbe

For breaching its order to play behind closed door, Sunshine Stars has been ordered to play its home matches at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode while the club’s goalkeeper, David Ariyo has also been slammed with a 12-match suspension.

In addition, a total fine of N1million is to be paid by the Akure Gunners for various other rule breaches.

The League Management Company (LMC), handed out these sanctions after reviewing events of Match-day 23 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in Akure between Sunshine Stars and Plateau United FC of Jos.

In a bold move to enforce regulations and come down hard on unruliness of players, club officials and violent fans, the LMC ruled that “in view of the breach of the ‘closed door’ order, and upon consideration of the provisions of Rule B4.7 (Overriding considerations and general public interest), an order is hereby made moving Sunshine Stars to the Otunba Dipo Dina, Stadium, Ijebu-Ode for its home matches henceforth and until further notice”.
The matches will be played under closed doors until the LMC is satisfied that the club can guaranty security at its games and also control the unruly supporters.

The LMC reiterated that Sunshine Stars must be seen to have complied with earlier orders for the Club’s home matches to be played behind closed doors and the requirement for revised and satisfactory safety and security measures to be put in place before the Akure Township Stadium is re-admitted to host NPFL matches.

The LMC further warned the club that should there be similar breaches or disturbances, the suspended three points deduction will be implemented.
Sunshine Stars were also charged for breaches of Rule C9 and C1.2.1.6 while goalkeeper, Ariyo was charged for assault on an assistant referee contrary to Rule C11 of the NPFL Framework and Rules.

For failure to control the players in breach of Rule C9, the club was fined N750,000 while another fine of N250, 000 was imposed on the club as compensation to the assaulted Assistant Referee pursuant Rule C12 and this will be in addition to payment of any additional certified medical expenses incurred by the Referee.

LMC reminded clubs in the topflight Nigerian league that breaches of the NPFL Framework and Rules will be met with appropriate sanctions to sustain the gains of the reforms to reposition club football in the country.

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