By Olawale Alabi
The League Management Company (LMC) on Wednesday announced a number of sanctions against the Kano Pillars Football Club over Monday’s incident involving their supporters and players.
Salihu Abubakar, LMC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), said in a statement that the sanctions were sequel to crowd disturbances and harassment of match officials.
The misdemeanour was committed by Kano Pillars’ fans and players during and after one of Match Day 4 fixtures at the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Championship Playoffs in Lagos.
“Kano Pillars have been fined the sum of N8 million, while their captain, Rabiu Ali, has been banned from all NPFL activities and matches for a period of 12 matches,” Abubakar said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that supporters and fans believed to belong to the Kano side had invaded the pitch, damaged perimetre fences and advertising panels.
They had also hauled objects at the VIP stands at the end of the fixture between Kano Pillars and Rangers International which ended 1-1.
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.
Ali was charged with accosting the match referee and, in so doing, he had 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.
“By this, LMC will impose on you the following sanction: a ban from all NPFL matches and activities for a period of 12 matches, commencing immediately”.
In the charge against Kano Pillars, the breaches covered offences 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 their players and officials who accosted the match referee in protest.
This 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 NPFL.
“This is because on Monday, immediately after your NPFL Championship Playoff Match against Rangers International, some of your supporters encroached onto the field of play, pursuing match officials”.
The fourth count was hinged on the violent conduct of the supporters in a manner capable of bringing the league to disrepute.
This also includes injury to spectators and damage to facilities and equipment in violation of Rule C1.1.
It is an act 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 N1 million for each count and N5 million for the breach of Rule C1.1.
Furthermore, the club have been ordered to play their next three home matches behind closed doors.
They also stand to forfeit three points in the new season, 2019/2020, should they be found in further breach of the charges during the duration of the new season.