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Enyimba forfeit three points to Rangers over misconduct

ENYIMBA International FC have forfeited three points and three goals to Rangers International FC due to misconduct by their players and fans. 

The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) announced this decision following a review of the incidents that occurred during their recent match.

This was confirmed in a letter to Enyimba, dated June 10 and shared by the NPFL News via its X handle.

According to the letter, signed by the NPFL chief operating officer, Davidson Owumi, Enyimba was also sanctioned with N10 million for offences bordering on five different charges by the league federation.

The league further outlined multiple breaches of its rules committed by Enyimba during the Oriental Derby on Sunday, June 9.

Backstory

The ICIR reports that the week 35 NPFL match between Rangers and Enyimba, held at Ranger’s home ground, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, was marred with several disruptions, including unruly behaviour from players and supporters. 

The game was a title decider with Rangers topping the league table with 60 points and Enyimba trailing them by two points.

The match was abandoned after the referee awarded a late penalty to Rangers FC, at the 90+7 minute of the game. 

The decision led Enyimba FC players to protest to the referee, eventually resulting in a walkout while fans invaded the pitch and disrupted the match.

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Initially, it was unclear which of the team’s fans encroached on the pitch, but a statement released by the NPFL confirmed that it was Enyimba supporters.

According to pictures and videos posted by a media practitioner, who covers Nigerian football matches, Suleiman Adebayo, best known as Pooja, the fans were seen throwing objects at the players while thousands of them invaded the pitch.

“Enyimba players failed to return to the pitch after the security restored calmness and the ref put the ball on the pitch.

They walked off the pitch and then, the fans encroached and everyone ran for their lives,” Pooja wrote on X.

Sanctions 

Besides the three-point forfeiture, the NPFL, in its verdict, pointed out that Enyimba failed to control their fans, who engaged in acts of violence and intimidation.

The order to forfeit three points and three goals in favour of Rangers was due to Enyimba’s failure to allow the penalty awarded against them to be taken.

The NPFL also noted that Enyimba contravened Rule B13.18 as its team and supporters threw objects and encroached on the field of play.

Letter addressed to Enyimba FC. Credit: NPFL News

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The League also ruled that the club breached Rule C1.1 by refusing to “continue with the match in protest against the penalty awarded in favour of your opponents, and act that goes against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, the league rules, and, is capable of bringing the game to disrepute.”

Other rules said to have been violated include Rule C9, Rule B6.23 and B13.24 of the Frameworks and Rules of the Nigeria Premier Football League.

Consequently, the NPFL imposed one million naira fine on Eyimba for failing to ensure the proper conduct of the team, while also fining the club an additional five million naira for disrupting a live broadcast.




     

     

    Other fines are one million naira for throwing objects onto the field of play, one million naira for encroachment into the field of play and two million naira for causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match.

    “An order for Enyimba to identify and produce for further investigation and appropriate sanctions, other players and officials complicit in the disruptive conducts (particularly against the match officials) that led to a discontinuation of the game, in addition to the following identified players; Eze Ekwutoziam (Jersey No.6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (Jersey No.27), and Akanni Elijah (Jersey No. 10),” the NPFL added.

    The NPFL gave Enyimba 48 hours to either submit to the summary jurisdiction and the prescribed sanctions or elect to be dealt with by a disciplinary panel, noting that failure to comply or a frivolous appeal may result in additional sanctions.

    Letter addressed to Rangers FC: Credit NPFL News/X

    Meanwhile, Rangers International, the home team, was fined five million naira for five offences related to over-ticketing, inadequate security, and poor crowd control measures.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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