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Enyimba docked three points, fined N10m for disrupting game against Rangers

Rangers, Enyimba game abandoned as fans invade pitch over late penalty call Rangers, Enyimba game abandoned as fans invade pitch over late penalty call
Rangers, Enyimba game abandoned as fans invade pitch over late penalty call Photo credit: Pooja Media

The board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has sanctioned Enyimba FC with forfeiture of three points and goals for refusing to conclude the match against Enugu Rangers on Sunday. 

The NPFL matchday 35 fixture was abandoned in added time after Rangers were awarded a controversial penalty at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.

After 90 minutes, with the game tied goalless, the home team got the spot-kick seven minutes into added time following a foul that prevented its attacker from pouncing on a loose ball in the box.

The decision prompted protests from Enyimba players who confronted the match officials.

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However, the incident took another dimension when fans invaded the pitch, resulting in Enyimba players walking off it.

It remains unclear which fans encroached on the pitch, but efforts to resume play proved abortive.

In a letter addressed to Enyimba on Monday, NPFL said the club’s action “goes against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, and the league rules and is capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.

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The team was also penalised N10 million for failing to ensure the proper conduct of its players, disrupting the NPFL live broadcast, and causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match.

Three Enyimba players — Eze Ekwutoziam, Chibuike Nwaiwu and Akanni Elijah — are under investigation for further sanctions.

“An order forfeiting 3 points and three goals in favour of your opponent refusing to allow the penalty awarded in favour of your opponents to be taken, thereby disrupting the match and bringing the game to disrepute,” the letter reads.

“An order for Enyimba to identify and produce for further investigation and appropriate sanctions, other players and officials complicit in the disruptive conducts (particularly against the match officials) that led to a discontinuation of the game, in addition to the following identified players; Eze Ekwutoziam (Jersey No.6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (Jersey No.27), and Akanni Elijah (Jersey No.10).”

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Similarly, NPFL charged Rangers with “over-ticketing, which led to overcrowding” and failing to provide adequate security and crowd control measures during the match.

The team got a cumulative N5 million fine for all the breaches incurred.

Both clubs must respond to their penalties within the next 48 hours.

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