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NPFL: IMC announces sanctions, fixture adjustment, Referee performance review requests

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Nigeria’s Premier League on Wednesday announced disciplinary measures on offending clubs, various requests by clubs for change of venue and postponement of fixtures plus performance review requests.

For the sanctions, the IMC fined El-Kanemi Warriors and they are to play their remaining fixtures of the first half of the season behind closed doors just as Coach of Bayelsa United received a warning to be of good conduct.

The IMC after a review of findings of the official reports of the MatchDay 5 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and Bendel Insurance, found the host team to have breached Rule B13.52 for failure to provide adequate and effective security for all persons involved in the match and which led to the destruction of the camera tripod of the away team, and disagreements prior to the resumption of the second half.

El-Kanemi was thus fined NL500,000 for failure to provide adequate and effective security, ₦250,000 being compensatory payment to Coach Monday Odigie of Bendel Insurance and an order to replace the damaged camera tripod of Bendel Insurance.

Also, following his apologies for making an unguarded public statement on the league contrary to Rule C15 and Appendix B7, Coach Deprieye Tebowei of Bayelsa United, received a final reprimand with a warning to refrain from further breach of the rules on conduct of club officials.

“The respondent and officials of Bayelsa United are further advised to direct their grievances and complaints through the official channels in the future”, the IMC advised.

Three clubs, Lobi Stars, Enyimba and Abia Warriors had their requests for fixtures adjustment rejected by the IMC. The league body stressed the need to maintain fidelity of fixtures and to avoid future fixture congestion.

Lobi Stars FC sought to reschedule their MatchDay 7 fixture against Dakkada while Abia Warriors also requested a shift in date for the game against Wikki Tourists, and Enyimba is requesting a change in date for their MatchDay 8 game against Shooting Stars.

Abia Warriors was consequently directed to host Wikki Tourists at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba on same date just as Lobi were advised to make adequate arrangement to play their MatchDay 7 game on the scheduled date of February 11.

In a separate development, Abia Warriors have been provisionally permitted the continued use of the Umuahia Township Stadium for the remainder of the first stanza of the season being MatchDay 9. Subsequently, the ground would be evaluated to decide if it meets club Licensing Infrastructure requirement.

Still on Infrastructure requirement of the Club Licensing, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) are also have their home ground, the Lekan Salami Stadium on provisional approval. The IMC wrote the club, saying, “The present condition of the playing turf at the Lekan Salami Stadium, is not television friendly and falls short of acceptable standards. You are therefore directed to take immediate steps to improve the condition of the playing pitch before the end of the first half of the season (Week 9)”. The club was warned that failure to comply would lead to its home games moved to an alternate ground before the start of the second stanza.

Nasarawa United got approval to return to the New Jos Township Stadium for their remaining fixtures of the season with a warning that further requests for venue change will not be entertained. Nasarawa will thus host Kwara United in Jos for the MatchDay 7 game this weekend.

Other decisions reached by the IMC include the lifting of suspension of Jumbo Wisdom, considered to have served adequate punishment for card offences and therefore eligible to feature for Doma United in MatchDay 7 against Rangers. The reprieve was granted owing to conflicting accounts in the preliminary and substantive match reports of the Referee.

The Referee Appointment Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have been requested to review the performance of Referee Amadi Promise of Rivers State following protest lodged by Sunshine Stars for his handling of their MatchDay 5 fixture against Lobi Stars in Makurdi.

The IMC is also seeking the evaluation of the suitability of Referee Taiwo David for further officiating in NPFL games following his performance in the MatchDay 5 fixture in Port Harcourt between Rivers United and Wikki Tourists.

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