DEATH IN LAFIA: LMC Suspends Matches at Lafia Stadium, Bans Match Commissioner

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Chineme Martins
  • Fines Nasarawa Utd N6m, Six points deduction if breach is repeated

Following a review of the incident that led to the death of Chineme Martins last Sunday during the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 23 fixture between Nasarawa United and Katsina United, the League Management Company (LMC) has amongst other stiff sanctions ordered that no matches shall be hosted at the Lafia Township Stadium until medical requirements and measures stipulated in the League Rules are fully complied with.

The LMC also wrote to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) requesting that the Match Commissioner in the said fixture, Mr. Christian Mbah from Enugu State Football Association, be withdrawn permanently from further participation in NPFL matches, for his failure to perform his statutorily duty to ensure all requirements including medical personnel and equipments are in place before allowing the match to go ahead and for also failing to submit his match report within the stipulated time frame despite the aggravated incident from the match.

Nasarawa United was charged for breach of Rule C1 of the Framework in that as the home team, it failed to comply with mandatory terms of the league rules and the club licensing regulations, including the provision of fundamental safety and medical requirements, which constituted conduct capable of bringing the league to disrepute.

In it’s ruling, the LMC said it took cognizance of the club’s compliance with the mandatory medical examinations and records of contracted players under Rule B12.10 in imposing sanctions.

Nasarawa United was fined N5million to be paid within 10 working days and another fine of N1million for conduct capable of bringing the league to disrepute.

The LMC also made a suspended order of six points deduction/forfeiture which will be activated should a similar breach occur before the end of the 2020/2021 season.

The club is required within 48 hours of the date of the notice, to either accept in writing, the summary jurisdiction and the sanctions or elect to be dealt with by a Commission.

As part of measures to ensure no repeat of death of any player in the domestic league, a tripartite committee of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, NFF, LMC and other key Stakeholders it to be constituted by the NFF in consultation with the Minister of Youth and Sports.

The committee is expected to review the incident in Lafia and make recommendations on how to improve matchday medical services and general security of players, officials and fans among other steps aimed at improving the NPFL match day organization and experience across all venues.