Enyimba International FC and their Supporters Club have been fined over N5m for field encroachment and the disruption of the trophy presentation ceremony by its supporters who have also been seriously reprimanded by the League Management Company (LMC) for their behavior in Aba and at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Match Day 38 of the 2014/15 Glo Premier League season.
The Club has been charged by the LMC for violation of article B13.18 of the Rules and Framework of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) citing repeated pitch invasions in Aba and Lagos.
Thousands of fans thronged the pitch while the LMC leadership and dignitaries were presenting the 2014/15 Glo Premier League trophy to winners, Enyimba International FC of Aba, causing a disruption in the schedule of the planned presentation ceremonies.
Last season at the Enyimba International Stadium, fans of Kano Pillars executed a similar pitch invasion when their club was to be presented the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season trophy and the club was fined N2m for the infraction.
The LMC says it would not condone such disruptive acts that deny sponsors and other stakeholders the marketing benefits and beauty of such well planned ceremonies.
In a Summary Jurisdiction notice issued Enyimba FC, the LMC charged the Supporters Club for violating Article B13.18 of the rules and relying on Article B15.16 which provides that Clubs would be held responsible for the behavior of their fans fined Enyimba N500, 000 for the invasion of the Enyimba International Stadium pitch after they secured the trophy with a nil all draw against Warri Wolves on Match Day 37.
In the second charge of disruption of the trophy presentation ceremony on Match Day 38 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the newly crowned Glo Premier League champions were fined N2, 000, 000 bringing the total to N2.5m.
While the Supporters Club of Enyimba have expressed regrets and apologized for their conduct, the LMC has written to sternly reprimand the Supporters Club and warned them to desist from such behavior in their future activities.
The LMC said while it would strategise with security agencies to improve operations during future events, fans and all such unauthorized persons who encroach on the field after games and during ceremonies will be apprehended and handed over to the Police.
The Lagos State Football Association (LSFA) which was the state host FA for the match between Sunshine Stars and Enyimba has however also written to the LMC a formal letter of apology to the LMC expressing regrets over the invasion of the pitch by fans during the trophy presentation ceremony on Match Day 38 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
The letter signed by the Vice Chairman of LSFA read, ” we write to offer an unreserved apology for the unpleasant incident that occurred during the final match of the recently concluded Nigeria Professional Football League match between Sunshine Stars and Enyimba at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, indeed the unruly behavior of the fans is totally regrettable”.
The Lagos FA assured the LMC that the association will work to ensure the needful is done in future matches they will be involved in its organization.