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Crowd Trouble: NPL too soft on erring clubs, fans

NPL has yet again proven that it can not met out serious punishment to clubs whose fans bring the beautiful game into disrepute.

The incident in Kano and the subsequent fine and banishment of title chasers Kano Pillars can not in any way deter future crowd trouble by fans.

NPL threw a wrist slapping N1.8million fine on Pillars, a fine which is not enough to deter its fans from causing future mayhem. Many analysts have suggested more punitive measures that would indeed drive home the point that crowd trouble is not, and can be tolerated. Past events have seen erring clubs go behind to appeal to NPL and they get reprieve and after few games outside their base, return to status quo.

Commentators like ex Green Eagles attacker Adokie Amiesimaka has called on the NPL to apply stiffer sanctions on erring clubs, to deter others but such calls have not been ignored and today, we still see fans assault visiting clubs and match officials. Some sports administrators believe the N1.8million is too small a fine and called for an improvement of the fine. A suggestion that in future, such club or clubs should be relegated to drive home the point.

According to NPL, Pillars will play the remainder of their Premier League matches at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar following crowd trouble which followed their 1-1 home draw against Dolphins last Saturday.

Pillars fans attacked match officials as well as the Dolphins team after a result which could yet cost them the League title.

Referee Gabriel Adigwe, his assistants and the match commissioner were set upon as they made their way to the dressing room.

“The Premier League is worried over persistent and unjust attack on match officials in recent times,” Tunji Babalola, NPL’s Head of Competitions, said while handing down the punishment.


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