The League Management
Company (LMC) last week said it had sanctioned two senior club officials, a coach and 12 match officials, including four referees and eight assistant referees.
In a statement, LMC said the 15 of them were charged under the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) rules for various acts considered inimical to the good of the game.
“The General Manager of FC Taraba of Jalingo, Tijani Babangida, and that of Heartland FC of Owerri, Okechukwu Ibe who is also a Director of LMC, have been fined N50,000 and N200,000 respectively.
“They were sanctioned for comments and behaviour which were in breach of some sections of the Code of Conduct for club officials under the NPFL rules,’’ the league organising body said.
LMC similarly said Abia Warriors’ Head Coach Ladan Bosso was fined N50,000 for comments it ruled to be in breach of regulations.
It said this was in line with Article 14 of the Code of Conduct for coaches and managers and Article C1 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.
“Babangida and Bosso were punished for public comments against referees, comments considered capable of bringing the league to disrepute, while Ibe was charged for acts capable of bringing the league to disrepute.
“This included excessive complaints against the referee during Heartland FC’s Match Day 11 fixture against Enyimba International.
“Babangida’s charge followed his comments to the media on the Match Day 11 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba, even after he had followed the official channels to lay a complaint about the officiating.
“This was even after he was aware that his complaint was being dealt with.
“Bosso’s charge is in relation to comments he made to the media against the referee after the Match Day 12 fixture between Rangers and Abia Warriors.
“The LMC believes he failed to act in an ethical and professional manner, in the best interest of the game, and he made statements capable of bringing the game to disrepute,” the statement said.
The LMC then asked all those sanctioned to within 48 hours accept the respective sanctions imposed or elect to defend themselves before a commission.
“They have all accepted the charges and apologised,’’ it said in the statement.
The LMC said it had also forwarded the cases of the match officials to the Referees Appointment Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
“We have requested that the listed officials’ performances be reviewed and they should be dropped from further officiating NPFL games, pending the conclusion of the review of their performance in some matches.
“In referring the case to the Committee, the LMC expressed dissatisfaction with their performances in some fixtures of Match Days 11 and 12,’’ the statement said.
It said referee Jerry Akure from Benue and his assistants, Aliyu Jingi of Bauchi State and Garba Musa from Yobe, were charged for below par handling of a match.
The match was the Match Day 11 fixture in Umuahia between Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars.
“Referee Maaji Mohammed and his assistants Abbas J. and Alfa Gimba, all of Niger Referees Council, were charged for poor officiating in the fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba, also on Match Day 11.
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