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Rangers, Enyimba game abandoned as fans invade pitch over late penalty call

Photo credit: Pooja Media

The week 35 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) match between Rangers International and Enyimba FC was on Sunday abandoned in added time following a controversial penalty.

The Oriental Derby at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium was a title decider with Rangers topping the league standings with 60 points and Enyimba trailing them by two points.

Fans had trooped out en masse for the fiercely contested encounter which lived up to its billing until the unpleasant scenes at the end.

Following a pulsating 90 minutes, with the game tied goalless, Rangers were awarded a penalty seven minutes into added time for a foul that prevented its attacker from pouncing on a loose ball in the box, prompting protest from Enyimba players who confronted the referee.

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However, the incident took another dimension when fans invaded the pitch, prompting Enyimba players to walk off it.

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

The NPFL has yet to comment on the incident — as of the time of this report.

This is not the first time Enyimba will be involved in such a controversial situation.

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The country’s most successful club also had their week 24 match against Doma United abandoned following a controversial winning goal for the Aba-based side.

Enyimba were fined N7 million and their stadium closed for three home matches.

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