Sunshine Stars and Abia Warriors have been sanctioned by the League Management Company (LMC) for disruptive behaviour of their fans in recent matches.
The LMC also handed Enyimba’s Masseur Ifeanyi Kalu a one year ban from all activities of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and his club fined N250,000.
A total fine of N2.7m 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 were committed in the course of their Match Day 33 fixture against Heartland at the Akure Township Stadium. In addition to the fine, Sunshine Stars will now serve the one match behind closed door which was earlier imposed as a suspended punishment for similar breaches on Match Day 17 fixture against Warri Wolves. The assaulted Assistant Referee and the injured Heartland official will be paid compensations of N250, 000 each from the fine.
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 on Friday, September 16 to respond in writing indicating acceptance of the charges or electing to appear before a commission.
The League body also explained that it has become necessary to take the step in response to overwhelming concerns from all NPFL participating clubs and interest from all stakeholders and the need to protect the competition.