Citing a recent successful prosecution of a Kano Pillars official Supporters Club member temporary jailed for attempted disruptive behaviour during match day, the League Management Company (LMC) has issued a strongly worded warning to Sunshine Stars Football Club, Rangers International and FC IfeanyiUbah and their Supporters to refrain from further disruptive behaviour during the remaining fixtures of the Glo Premier League 2014/15 season.
In a major breakthrough for the campaign for conducive match day experience for fans at all Glo Premier League venues which has recorded an upsurge in attendance including family groups showing up for games, Security operatives at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano with the cooperation of Kano State FA and the Kano Pillars FC Management apprehended a serial disruptive fan, charged him to court for attempted breach of peace and secured a conviction.
Underscoring the weight of LMC’s concern on the matter, the letter to the clubs was personally signed by the Chairman, Shehu Dikko and warned that any further breach of the Nigeria Professional Football League Framework and Rules by their Supporters will attract varying but stringent sanctions that may include prosecution in a competent court.
In the case of Sunshine Stars, the warning was occasioned by activities of some fans from the Club’s Official Supporters Club that led to disruption of peace of the fans during the Match Day 28 fixture between Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United.
In that of Rangers, it followed reports of some fans, one of which was expelled by the Referee for unauthorized access to the technical area while the match day 29 fixture against Shooting Stars was on.
Concerning FC IfeanyiUbah, the LMC noted that a supporter of the club was reported to have encroached on the pitch to forcefully remove an injured Kano Pillars player during their match day 30 fixture in Nnewi.
In the letter, the LMC Chairman said to the clubs that “you’ll recall that under the Framework and Rules governing the League, disturbances at match venues are prohibited and clubs are held responsible for the behaviour of their Supporters before, during and after a match.
Therefore, should you fail to address the situation forthwith, the LMC would be left with no option than to either close your stadium to Supporters or implement a stadium ban and move your games to a neutral venue in another city as provided in the rules”.
The three clubs and indeed all clubs in the NPFL were also reminded that the LMC has a pact with Security Agencies to treat match day disturbances as a criminal breach of the peace for which offenders will face prosecution.
The recent case in Kano was cited as a reminder that such disruptions and or attempted disruption will be treated as a criminal offense and a general warning to other clubs that “the LMC will not hesitate to allow the same treatment meted to any individual who engages similar disruptive behaviour at match venues anywhere in the country”.