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LMC says Ebele Obi, others have apologised

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Abuja – The League Management Company (LMC) on Sunday in Abuja said it had closed all recent cases of indiscipline before it.

The body organising the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) said this followed the acceptance by all four clubs and individuals of the decisions contained in the recent LMC Summary Jurisdiction notices

Ebele Obi
Ebele Obi

Announcing the receipt of the acceptance notices and apologies from all concerned parties, LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko remarked that the sanctions were not meant to be punitive but correctional.

“They were to uphold the sanctity of the rules of the NPFL and to assure all stakeholders of fairness in the application of all laid-down regulations.’’

The LMC chairman further stated that with the closure of all the cases, he was hopeful the issues would be put behind all involved.

“I urge all stakeholders to redirect their focus to the beautiful sides of the NPFL games, even as the lessons will remain with us to avert future occurrence from any quarter,’’ he said.

Heartland FC of Owerri, FC IfeanyiUbah of Nnewi, Plateau United FC of Jos and Sunshine Stars of Akure were the clubs sanctioned.

They were sanctioned by the LMC for various infractions of the NPFL regulations.

These ranged from failure to control players, allowing access to unauthorised areas and to security breaches at match venues, thus leading to acts capable of bringing the league to disrepute.

Individuals sanctioned include the Proprietor of FC IfeanyiUbah, Ifeanyi Ubah, Heartland’s goalkeeper Ebele Obi and the Media Officer of Rangers International, Forster Chime who was fined for comments disparaging a referee.

LMC, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said Ubah, in a letter dated April 2 and addressed to the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, had apologised.

It said Ubah, in a letter accepting to submit to LMC’s summary jurisdiction, pledged not to appeal the decision and offered an unconditional apology to all stakeholders.

“He said his actions were due to his overriding passion for the NPFL and its development.

“He explained in the letter that he was moved to intervene by the actions of Heartland players towards the referee after the match with FC IfeanyiUbah in Nnewi, an action which led to some over reaction that he regrets.

LMC said FC IfeanyiUbah also wrote separately to accept the N500,000 fine imposed on it for not ensuring adequate security immediately after the Match Day 8 fixture in Nnewi against Heartland.

Also, Heartland had earlier in accepting LMC decision pleaded for a reduction of their N750,000 fine and leniency for goalkeeper Ebele Obi who was banned for six matches.

“The club through the General Manager, Oscar Keke, had also pleaded on grounds that Heartland was a first offender which has never been previously known or charged with unruly behaviour of its players.’’

LMC further said Sunshine Stars, in its acceptance letter signed for the club’s President by one Aderemi Adetula, pleaded for extension of time to apprehend and prosecute some offenders.

The offenders were alleged to have attacked officials of Shooting Stars Sports Club and disrupted television broadcast coverage of the Match Day 9 fixture in Akure.

It said while Sunshine was fined N5 million for the stoppage of broadcast coverage, the club has now made a representation to the LMC for a reduction on the fine.

LMC also said Chime acknowledged his wrongdoing and apologised to the LMC.

“He pledged to henceforth abide with the codes of behaviour prescribed for club officials in the NPFL Rules and Framework.’’

It said Plateau United had also, in a letter of acceptance of the summary jurisdiction notice served on it following their Match Day 9 fixture against MFM FC in Jos, apologised.

“The club pledged to ensure adequate security at the Rwang Pam Stadium in their remaining home games of the season, but it however asked to be allowed to pay the fine in installments,’’ the LMC said in the statement.

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