Lagos-based Ikorodu United FC has requested and secured approval from the League Management Company (LMC) to play its remaining home fixtures of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) at MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta.
The LMC said in a statement on Friday in Lagos that following crowd incident during the Match Day 30 fixture against Shooting Stars at the Onikan Stadium, they were banned from using the venue. It said that Ikorodu United did not ensure adequate security and were ordered to play three home games at Abeokuta with two suspended on condition of good behaviour by the fans.
The statement said Ikorodu United served the sanction and defeated Niger Tornadoes 1-0. But in a letter to the LMC, the club’s General Manager, Dele Gbajumo, appealed that the club be permitted to relocate to Abeokuta.
“We will not be able to guarantee the full control of the crowd and general safety at the Onikan Stadium. “This is because the unruly fans at the stadium are not known to us and neither can they be identified should there be any form of fracas,’’ the club wrote in its appeal.
Granting the approval, the LMC directed Ikorodu United to liaise with the Ogun Football Association toward ensuring that adequate preparations were made for security and crowd control for their matches.
Ikorodu United will host El-Kanemi Warriors in one of the Match Day 33 fixtures at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Sunday.
The LMC has consistently and in accordance with provisions of the rules and framework meted out appropriate sanctions to erring clubs, players, officials and fans to ensure decorum in the NPFL. It is ironical that what initially seemed punitive has turned out a blessing for Ikorodu United, the statement said.