IMC Goes Tough on Security Breaches with point reduction
The Interim Management Committee (IMC), the body in charge of organizing and running the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) has acted swiftly in response to the assault on an Assistant Referee at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa by ordering a deduction of three points and three goals from Bayelsa United.
The sanction followed a review of the official match report of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) MatchDay 5 fixture between Bayelsa United and Doma FC on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
In a separate development, the IMC also ordered an indefinite closure to fans of the Maiduguri Township Stadium for El-Kanemi Warriors home fixtures pending investigation into reported security breaches in the course of their match against Bendel Insurance midweek.
In the memo conveying Bayelsa United sanctions, the club was charged for breaches of Rule B8:21, C11 and B13:52.
For failure to provide adequate security for match officials during and after the match, contrary to Rule B8:21, Bayelsa United was fined the sum of ₦1million and another ₦500,000 for failure to ensure the restriction of access by unauthorized persons to all restricted areas.
The IMC directed the deducting of three points and three goals from the accumulated points/goals of Bayelsa United, for the assault on a match official and ordered the club to pay a fine of ₦250,000, being compensatory payment to the assaulted Assistant Referee 2, Ojeleye Ebenezer.
The club has also been ordered to ensure the immediate prosecution of one Mr. Joseph Zidougha (a.k.a One Man Riot) for carrying out the assault on a match official and furnish the Legal and Compliance Department of the NPFL with Verifiable evidence of the prosecution.
While the said Joseph Zidougha has been banned for a period of one year from all NPFL-related activities, the
Samson Siasia Stadium has been closed indefinitely to fans.
The IMC directed that the stadium closure shall be in place “until adequate and verifiable security measures including written guarantees to the NPFL to prosecute any person found to create disturbances in the course of your home matches are put in place”.
The club however retains the option within 48 hours in accordance with Rule C26, to submit to the decision or elect to appear before a Disciplinary Panel. The fines are to be paid within seven working days.
In the case of El-Kanemi Warriors, the attention of the club management was drawn to the state of the playing pitch and security breach investigation.
Reminding the club of an earlier correspondence on an ongoing review of the provisional approval granted it for the El-Kanemi Stadium and advice therein to restrict the use of the stadium to only football activities, the IMC urged the club to prepare to relocate to an alternate ground as recent assessment of the playing pitch shows that ithe present condition is still far from ideal
“You are therefore expected to take more expedient steps to improve the quality of the playing pitch.
“You are further advised to notify the league secretariat of your preferred alternate ground in the interim, to act as a safeguard, in the event that you are unable to carryout adequate improvement to the playing pitch of the El-Kanemi Stadium within stipulated time”, the IMC wrote in the memo to the club.
On the alleged security breach, the IMC informed El-Kanemi that it has commenced investigation into reports of “your most recent home game, and pending the outcome of the investigation, you are hereby ordered to play your future home games strictly under closed doors”.