Sequel to the crowd disturbances and harassment of match Referees in one of the fixtures of MatchDay4 of the Nigeria Professional Football League(NPFL) Championship Playoff, Kano Pillars FC has been fined Eight million Naira (N8m) and its captain, Rabiu Ali banned from all NPFL activities and matches for a period of 12 matches.
Supporters sympathetic to the Kano football side invaded the pitch, damaged perimeter fences and advertising panels while hauling objects at the VIP stands at the end of the fixture between Kano Pillars and Rangers International which ended 1-1.
The League Management Company (LMC) in a summary jurisdiction notice charged Kano Pillars with a four count breaches of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL including breaches of Rule B13.18, C9, C1.1.
Rabiu Ali was charged for accosting the Referee and in so doing incited others to commit acts of violence and misconduct in breach of Rule C1.3
The notice to Ali read, “consequently, and taking into consideration your role as the captain of the team, by which your conduct is deemed to be an aggravated breach with a view to imposing more severe sanctions pursuant to Rule C19, the LMC intends to exercise its summary jurisdiction and to impose on you the following sanction: a ban from all NPFL matches and activities for a period of twelve (12) matches, commencing immediately”.
In the charged against Kano Pillars, the breaches covered offenses such as the hauling of objects towards the field of play by some of their supporters in violation of Rule B13.18. Kano Pillars were also charged for failing to control and ensure proper conduct of its players and officials who accosted the match Referee in protest which constituted a breach of Rule C9.
The third charge read, “you are in breach of Rule B13.18 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on Monday, 10th June 2019, immediately after your NPFL Championship Playoff Match: Kano Pillars vs. Rangers International, some of your supporters encroached onto the field of play, pursuing after match officials”.
The fourth count was hinged on the violent conduct of the Supporters in a manner capable of bringing the league to disrepute and including injury to spectators and damage to facilities and equipment in violation of Rule C1.1 which is punishable by virtue of B15.17 and B13.23 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.
For the first three breaches, the LMC fined the club N1m for each count and N5m for the breach of Rule C1.1. Furthermore, the club has been ordered to play their next three home matches behind closed doors and stands to forfeit three points in the new season, 2019/2020, should it be found in further breach of the charges during the duration of the new season.
The player and club are required by the Rules to accept or appeal the charges and sanction in writing within 48 hours.
By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde