Two senior club officials, a coach and 12 match officials including four Referees and eight Assistant Referees have been charged under the NPFL Rulebook by the League Management Company (LMC) for various acts considered inimical to the good of the game.
General Manager of FC Taraba, Mr. Tijani Babangida and that of Heartland, Mr. Okechukwu Ibe whose is also a Director of LMC have been fined N50, 000 and N200, 000 respectively for comments and behaviours that were in breach of some sections of the Code of Conduct for Club Officials under the NPFL rules. Similarly, Abia Warriors Head Coach, Ladan Bosso was fined N50, 000 for comments the LMC ruled to be in breach of Article 14 of the Code of Conduct for Coaches and Managers and Article C1 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Babangida and Bosso were cited for public comments against referees considered capable of bringing the league to disrepute while Ibe was charged for acts capable of bringing the league to disrepute including excessive complaints against the Referee during the Match Day 11 Enyimba vs Heartland. Babangida’s charge followed his comments to the media on the Match Day 11 fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba even after he had followed the official channels to lay a complaint about the officiating and is aware it is being dealt with.
Bosso’s charge is in relation to comments he made to the media against the Referee after the Match Day 12 fixture between Rangers and Abia Warriors for which the LMC said he “failed to act in an ethical and professional manner, in the best interest of the game, and you made statements capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.
They were asked to within 48 hours accept the respective sanctions imposed or elect to defend themselves before a commission and they have all accepted the charges and apologized.
The LMC also forwarded the cases of the Match Officials to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Referees Appointment Committee requesting that the listed officials performances be reviewed and dropped from further officiating NPFL games pending the conclusion of the review of their performance in some matches.
In referring the case to the Committee, the LMC expressed dissatisfaction with their performances in some fixtures of Match Day 11 and 12.
Referee Jerry Akure from Benue State and his assistants, Aliyu Jingi (Bauchi) and Garba Musa from Yobe State were charged for below par handling the Match Day 11 fixture in Umuahia between Abia Warriors and Sunshine Stars while Referee Magaji Mohammed and his assistants Abbas J and Alfa Gimba, all of Niger State Referees Council were charged for poor officiating in the fixture between El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba also in Match day 11.
Two other cases from Match Day 12 involved Referee Sam Agba from Ogun State Council and his two assistants from the Oyo State Council on a charge of poor performance in the match between Enyimba International and Heartland. The last case of poor performance listed by the LMC involved Referee Mohammed D. Sule and his assistants, Suleiman Jimeta and Sani Mohammed all from Adamawa State Referees’ Council who officiated in the match between Kano Pillars and Giwa FC.
NFF referees committee has already commenced review of the listed match officials performances upon receipt of the necessary details and visuals from the LMC.