NPFL slams Enyimba N10m fine after match abandonment

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has taken decisive action against Enyimba International FC, imposing severe penalties following the club’s behavior during the Match Day 35 fixture against Rangers International FC. The game took place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu on Sunday, June 9.

rangers-vs-enyimba santioned

In a letter addressed to Enyimba on June 10, and signed by NPFL Chief Operating Officer Davidson Owumi, the league detailed several violations of its rules by Enyimba during the disrupted match.

Read also: Rangers fined N5m after matchday mayhem vs Enyimba

Violations and Incidents

Enyimba was found to have breached Rule C9, which mandates clubs to ensure the proper conduct of their players, officials, and supporters. Additionally, the club violated Rule B6.23 by interfering with the live broadcast of the match.

The highly-anticipated game ended in chaos when, deep into stoppage time and still goalless, the center referee John Ojeleye awarded a penalty to the home team. This decision led to an invasion of the pitch by Enyimba supporters, resulting in the abandonment of the match.

The NPFL’s letter on Monday highlighted that Enyimba also broke Rule B13.18, as their team and supporters threw objects onto the field and encroached on the playing area. Most significantly, the club breached Rule C1.1 by refusing to continue the match in protest of the awarded penalty, an act described as “against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, and league rules, bringing the game into disrepute.”

Furthermore, the disruption and abandonment of the match were violations of Rule B13.24.

Sanctions Imposed

In response to these breaches, the NPFL has imposed several penalties on Enyimba:

  • A fine of N1 million for failing to ensure proper conduct.
  • A fine of N5 million for disrupting the live broadcast.
  • A fine of N1 million for throwing objects onto the field.
  • A fine of N1 million for encroachment onto the field.
  • Forfeiture of three points and three goals in favor of Rangers International for refusing to continue the match, thereby disrupting the game and bringing it into disrepute.
  • A fine of N2 million for causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match.

Additionally, Enyimba has been instructed to identify and present for further investigation the players and officials involved in the disruptive behavior that led to the abandonment of the game. The identified players include Eze Ekwutoziam (Jersey No. 6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (Jersey No. 27), and Akanni Elijah (Jersey No. 10).

Compliance and Next Steps

The NPFL has given Enyimba 48 hours to accept the summary jurisdiction and the sanctions or choose to face a disciplinary panel. Failure to comply or submitting a frivolous appeal could result in additional penalties.

This stern action by the NPFL underscores the league’s commitment to maintaining discipline and ensuring that the principles of fair play and sportsmanship are upheld in Nigerian football.

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