Following the ugly incident after the Matchday 18 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture involving Heartland FC and Plateau United in Owerri, the League Management Company (LMC) has charged both clubs, Heartland FC’s team manager, the match commissioner and the center referee for various breaches of the Rules and Framework of the league.
The LMC dished out a three-point deduction from Heartland FC alongside an order to play their next three games behind closed doors with a total fine of N6,250,000 which includes N1m for encroachment after the match, N500,000 for failing to restrict unauthorized persons access to restricted areas during the match, N1m for assault on match officials after the game vs Plateau United, N1.25m as compensation to match officials, N500,000 for failure to use and issue tickets for record and crowd control purposes, N1m for issuing public statement capable of bringing the league into disrepute and N1m for unfairly criticizing and discrediting match officials who are officers or agents of the league. injured on the day.
Heartland FC team manager, Mobi Oparaku was also found guilty of breaching Rule C-13 of the rule and suspended from all league activities for the next ten matchdays.
The LMC also fined Plateau United the sum of N1m for “issuing, permitted or caused to be issued public statements regarding incidents arising from the said match, the manner and content of which were not in the best interest of the game and capable of bringing the game into disrepute”.
Heartland FC was also docked three points for recurrence citing previous incidents involving the team and FC IfeanyiUbah (from Matchday 28 of Heartland’s last NPFL season), Sunshine Stars and Lobi Stars (both from matchdays 1 and 11 this season).
The Match Commissioner and the referee of the ill fated match, Rowland Abu and Yusuf Garba respectively have been recommended to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for disciplinary action by the LMC.
The match commissioner was said to have failed to give a detailed account of the incident which was a misgiving.
The LMC also noted that “It is also of concern that the Match Commissioner’s report suggests personal conflict and or interference with the Referee in the discharge of their respective functions, which is suggestive of the need for further investigation”.
The LMC in recommending the referee for withdrawal from officiating in the NPFL, wrote
“the performance and conduct of the above-named match official was obviously well below the high standard expected in the Nigeria Professional Football League, including questionable actions and decisions as well as failure to submit match report on time”.
In another but similar development, MFM was fined N3m total for three breaches of the Rules and Framework which included, failure to control their crowd, provide adequate security and, control and ensure that club officials behave properly.
Heartland and its officials, Plateau United and MFM have 48 hours to respond either in writing to be submitted to or choose to appear before the NFF Disciplinary Committe