* Goalkeeper Ariyo handed 12-match ban
* Club to pay assaulted Referee N250,000
Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have been reminded by the League Management Company (LMC) that breaches of the NPFL Framework and Rules will be met with appropriate sanctions to sustain the gains of the reforms to reposition club football in the country.
The caution is coming on the heels of a ruling following further breach of the order to play behind closed door by Sunshine Stars that has subsequently been ordered to play its home matches at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu Ode while its goalkeeper, David Ariyo bagged a 12-match suspension.
These decisions including a total fine of N1m for various other rule breaches by the club were reached by the LMC in review of events of Match Day 23 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in Akure.
In a bold move to enforce regulations and come down hard on unruliness of players, club officials and violent fans, the LMC ruled that “in view of the breach of the ‘closed door’ order, and upon consideration of the provisions of Rule B4.7 (Overriding considerations and general public interest), an order is hereby made moving Sunshine Stars to the Otunba Dipo Dina, Stadium, Ijebu-Ode for its home matches henceforth and until further notice”.
The matches will be played under closed doors until the LMC is satisfied that the club can guaranty security at its games and also control the unruly supporters.
The LMC reiterated that Sunshine Stars must be seen to have complied with earlier orders for the Club’s home matches to be played behind closed doors and the requirement for revised and satisfactory safety and security measures to be put in place before the Akure Township Stadium is re-admitted to host NPFL matches.
The LMC further warned the club that should there be similar breaches or disturbances, the suspended three points deduction will be implemented.
Sunshine Stars were also charged for breaches of Rule C9 and C18.104.22.168 while goalkeeper, Ariyo was charged for assault on an assistant referee contrary to Rule C11 of the NPFL Framework and Rules.
In the summary jurisdiction notice issued the club, the LMC charged “You are in breach of Rule C9 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on Wednesday, 7th June, 2017, in the course of your Match Day 23 Fixture: Sunshine Stars FC vs Plateau United FC, you failed to control your players when they accosted the Assistant Referee and assaulted him”.
The second charge against Sunshine Stars read, “You are in breach of Rule C22.214.171.124 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on Wednesday, 7th June, 2017, in the course of your Match Day 23 Fixture: Sunshine Stars FC vs. Plateau United FC, you breached the order that your match be played behind closed doors when some spectators entered the stadium and also harassed match officials”.
For failure to control the players in breach of Rule C9, the club was fined N750,000 while another fine of N250, 000 was imposed on the club as compensation to the assaulted Assistant Referee pursuant Rule C12 and this will be in addition to payment of any additional certified medical expenses incurred by the Referee.