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LMC Fines Heartland N6.25m, Deducts Three Points

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The League Management Company (LMC) at the weekend sanctioned Heartland Football Club of Owerri following crowd trouble which marred their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture against champions Plateau United.
  Tidesports source reports that the club’s fans attacked centre referee Yusuf Garba, who they claimed made a number of questionable calls.
  Garba sustained injuries from the attack in the critthreeng8 fixture, which had ended in a 1-1 draw on April 22, and had to be treated at a nearby hospital.
The Owerri-based club side will now have to forfeit three points and play their next three home matches at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri behind closed doors.
The LMC revealed that it also fined the club N1.5 million.
It said this was for their fans’ encroachment after the game and their failure to restrict unauthorised persons to restricted areas during the match.
“For the assault on match officials, the LMC fined the club N1 million and ruled that they should pay N1.25 million as compensation to the match officials.
“Another N500,000 fine will be paid by Heartland for their failure to use and issue matchday tickets for record and crowd control purposes.
“They will pay another N1 million for issuing public statement capable of bringing the league to disrepute.
“For unfairly criticising and discrediting match officials who are officers or agents of the league, Heartland have also been fined N1 million,” the LMC said.
It also punished the club’s Team Manager, Mobi Oparaku, for his role in the incident.
The former Nigeria international has been suspended from all LMC activities for the next 10 games.
With the decision of the LMC, the former NPFL champions now face a tough task in maintaining their top-flight status as they sit in the last position on the table with 15 points from 18 games.
The club only gained promotion to the top-flight last season after spending a season in the Nigeria National League (NNL).
Tidesports source also reports that the LMC had docked three points from Sunshine Stars earlier in the season for a similar offence.

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Nigeria Now 34th Position In FIFA Ranking

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Nigeria has dropped by one spot in the FIFA ranking for September, placing 34th on the ranking table.
In the ranking table on the world football governing body’s website yesterday, Nigeria garnered 1, 482 points in the month under review as against 1,481 it had in August.
However, in spite of the drop by a spot, Nigeria still occupy the third position on the continent behind Senegal and Tunisia who have 1,546 and 1,493 respectively.
On the global scene, Belgium remain top of the FIFA World Ranking after an action-packed number of weeks in international football.
In the period under review, 78 friendlies, 74 continental qualifiers and 60 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers took place.
Although the teams in the top 10 remain unchanged, there has been some movements.
France (second, up 1) and Brazil (third, down 1) have traded places, while Spain (seventh, up 2) are the top 10’s biggest movers.
The Cayman Islands (193rd, up 11) and Grenada (160th, up 13) are the joint-biggest climbers by points, reaping the rewards after their successful showing in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Indeed, Grenada’s 13-place surge means that they are September’s highest climber by ranks.
Other notable upwardly-mobile nations include Jamaica (47th, up 5), who have broken into the top 50.
Others are the Republic of Ireland (28th, up 4), Russia (42nd, up 4), Guatemala (133rd, up 11), Suriname (142nd, up 9), Montserrat (187th, up 9) and Djibouti (186th, up 9).
Djibouti recently overcame Eswatini (150th, down 11) over two legs to advance to the second round of Africa’s World Cup qualifying for just the second time.
Meanwhile, Kosovo (119th, up 1) have been rewarded for their impressive performances in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying by reaching their best-ever position in the FIFA ranking.
The Cook Islands are not ranked in the latest standings due to not playing an international “A” match in the last four years.
After their next international “A” match, they will be included in the ranking table again with their points total from July 2019, plus/minus the points won or lost in the new match.

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LSSC Salutes Sanwo-Olu, Lauds Athletes

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The Lagos State Sports Commission (LSSC) is full of appreciation to the Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the support towards the state’s participation at the just concluded 5th National Youth Games (NYG) held in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Team Lagos came second overall at the end of the tournament, which ended on Monday at the University of Ilorin with 72 med- als consisting of 22 gold, 36 silver and 14 bronze medals, while Delta State with 41 gold, 32 silver and 31 bronze medals and Team Bayelsa with 17 gold, 6 silver and 22 bronze came second and third respectively.
Team Lagos was taking part for the second time in the history of the Games, which started since 2013.
Lagos was second in her first outing in 2018 and the state’s youthful and budding athletes ensured that they retained the position in their second outing in Ilorin.
Team Lagos was also adjudged as the Best Team in the March Past and was given an award of commendation in this year’s NYG.

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Adekuoroye Wins Bronze Medal At World Wrestling Championships

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Nigeria’s foremost female wrestler, Odunayo Adekuoroye, yesterday won a bronze medal at the ongoing World Wrestling Championships in Kazakhstan.
The 25-year-old defeated Anastasia Nichita of Moldova 10-0 in the women’s 57kg category to win the medal.
Adekuoroye had earlier beaten Sun Jong of North Korea 12-2 via technical superiority last Wednesday which helped her to gain a 2020 Tokyo Olympics slot.
The Tidesports source reports that Risako Kawai of Japan defeated Ningning Rong of China 9-6 to clinch the gold medal in the category.

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