NPFL Fines Enyimba N10m, Awards 3 Points To Rangers

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The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has fined Enyimba FC and some of the club’s players following their part in the abandonment of the top-of-the-table fixture against Rangers in Enugu on Sunday.

Enyimba players staged a walkout after a stoppage-time penalty was awarded to hosts Rangers with the score at 0-0 in front of a packed-to-the-rafters Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

Some of the Enyimba players harassed the match officials and the incident led to a pitch invasion by fans taking advantage of the loose security arrangement.

In a letter to Enyimba dated June 10, 2024, and signed by the NPFL Chief Operating Officer, Davidson Owumi, the league body listed several breaches of its rules by Enyimba, which brought the game into disrepute.

The NPFL said Enyimba violated Rule C9 by failing to ensure the proper conduct of their players, officials, and supporters.

The club was also cited for breaching Rule B6.23, which is disrupting the transmission of a live broadcast.

The NPFL also accused Enyimba supporters of throwing objects onto the pitch and encroaching while the match was still active.

It further alleged that the club also violated NPFL’s Rule C1.1 by refusing to continue the match in protest against a penalty awarded to their opponents, an act deemed “against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, the league rules, and capable of bringing the game to disrepute.”

In its ruling, the NPFL imposed a series of punitive sanctions on Enyimba, including a fine of N1m for failing to ensure the proper conduct of their team, a fine of N5m for disrupting a live broadcast, a fine of N1m for throwing objects onto the field of play and a fine of N1m for encroachment onto the field of play.

The NPFL also ordered the award of three points and three goals in favour of Rangers, punishing Enyimba for refusing to allow the penalty awarded against them to be taken, thereby disrupting the match and bringing the game into disrepute.

Enyimba have also been ordered to pay a fine of N2m for causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match.

Additionally, Enyimba have been ordered to identify and produce for further investigation and appropriate sanctions players and officials complicit in the disruptive conduct that led to the discontinuation of the game.

The identified players include Eze Ekwutoziam (jersey No.6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (jersey No.27), and Akanni Elijah (jersey No.10).

With the award of the three points to Rangers, the Enugu side are on the verge of sealing the NPFL title for the first time since 2016.

When the points award is confirmed, Rangers will have a five-point advantage over second-placed Enyimba with three rounds of matches to go.

Enyimba have been given 48 hours to appeal the decisions.

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