• Rejects fixture adjustment requests from Enyimba, others

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) rolled out far-reaching disciplinary measures on Wednesday even as various requests by clubs for change of venue and postponement of fixtures were also addressed.

El-Kanemi was fined and to play its remaining fixtures of the first half of the season behind closed doors just as the Coach of Bayelsa United received a warning to be of good conduct.

The IMC after a review of findings of the official reports of the MatchDay 5 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and Bendel Insurance, found the host team to have breached Rule B13.52 for failure to provide adequate and effective security for all persons involved in the match and which led to the destruction of the camera tripod of the away team, and disagreements prior to the resumption of the second half.

El-Kanemi was thus fined ₦500,000 for failure to provide adequate and effective security, ₦250,000 being a compensatory payment to Coach Monday Odigie of Bendel Insurance and an order to replace the damaged camera tripod of Bendel Insurance.

Following his apologies for making unguarded public statements on the league contrary to Rule C15 and Appendix B7, Coach Deprieye Tebowei of Bayelsa United, received a final reprimand with a warning to refrain from further breach of the rules on conduct of club officials.

“The respondent and officials of Bayelsa United are further advised to direct their grievances and complaints through the official channels in the future”, the IMC further advised.

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Three clubs, Lobi Stars, Enyimba and Abia Warriors had their requests for fixture adjustment declined by the IMC, which cited the need to maintain fidelity of fixtures and to avoid future fixture congestion. 

Lobi sought to reschedule their MatchDay 7 fixture against Dakkada while Abia Warriors also requested a shift in date for the game against Wikki Tourists and Enyimba is requesting a change in date for their MatchDay 8 game against Shooting Stars.

Abia Warriors was consequently directed to host Wikki Tourists at the Enyimba International Stadium in Aba on the same date just as Lobi was advised to make adequate arrangements to play their MatchDay 7 game on the scheduled date of February 11.

In a separate development, Abia Warriors has been provisionally permitted the continued use of the Umuahia Township Stadium for the remainder of the first stanza of the season being MatchDay 9. Subsequently, the ground would be evaluated to decide if it meets club Licensing Infrastructure requirement.

Still on Infrastructure requirement of the Club Licensing, Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) also have its home ground, the Lekan Salami Stadium on provisional approval. The IMC wrote the club, saying, “The present condition of the playing turf at the Lekan Salami Stadium, is not television friendly and falls short of acceptable standards. You are therefore directed to take immediate steps to improve the condition of the playing pitch before the end of the first half of the season (Week 9)”. The club was warned that failure to comply would lead to its home games being moved to an alternate ground before the start of the second stanza.

Nasarawa United got approval to return to the New Jos Township Stadium for their remaining fixtures of the season with a warning that further requests for venue change will not be entertained. Nasarawa will thus host Kwara United in Jos for the MatchDay 7 game this weekend.

The Referee Appointment Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has been requested to review the performance of Referees Amadi Promise and Taiwo David.