DECISIONS OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE OF THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 30TH JULY, 2021

DECISIONS OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE OF THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION AT ITS MEETING HELD ON 30TH JULY, 2021

CASE 1:   MALUMFASHI FC V. KOGI UNITED FC

INTRODUCTION

This case involves Malumfashi FC Vs. Kogi United FC in a match fixtureplayed on 14th July, 2021 at ALC Stadium, Malumfashi, Katsina State.

Kogi United is protesting against encroachment on the field of play,assault on its technical team and insecurity at the match venue.

With the scores at 1-0, the match was disrupted and eventuallyabandoned after the away team, Kogi United FC was awarded a penalty inthe 43rd minute.

FINDINGS

Upon consideration of the official match reports as well as thesubmissions of the parties, it is established as follows;

There were breaches of the COVID-19 Protocols as spectators werepresent during the match.

After a penalty was awarded to the away team (Kogi United FC), therewas disturbance and encroachment caused by the supporters of the hometeam (Malumfashi FC) protesting against the decision of the Referee.

Afterwards, the Referee signalled for play to continue with the takingof the penalty kick. However, Kogi United refused to continue playingdue to their ALLEGED complaints about the security at the match venue.

Despite the signal from the Referee and the assurances from the MatchCommissioner as to their safety, Kogi United still refused to continuewith the match.

The delay caused by Kogi United FC’s refusal to continue with thematch lasted for up to 35 minutes, after which the match wasconsequently abandoned.

DECISIONS:

Malumfashi FC

Malumfashi FC is fined the sum of NGN1,000,000 for the disturbancesand encroachment by its supporters in breach of 16.1 of the NNL Rules.The circumstances that this is a repeated breach by the club wasconsidered with a view to imposing a more severe sanction pursuant to27.3 of the NNL Rules.

Malumfashi FC is also fined the sum of NGN300,000 for breach of theCOVID-19 Protocol.

Kogi United FC

By refusing to continue with the match for a period of up to fiveminutes Kogi United FC is in breach of 14.8 of the NNL Rules and finedthe sum of NGN500,000.00.

Furthermore to (1) above, Kogi United FC shall forfeit the match toMalumfashi FC by 3 points, 3 goals.

By virtue of 14.9 of the NNL Rules, the complaints by Kogi United FCabout the match security are invalid and rejected, in the light of thefact that the appointed match officials were satisfied with thesecurity arrangement.

The above decision is without prejudice to the right of appeal.

In attendance: Musa Amadu, Esq. (Chairman), Prof. Olufemi Adegbesan(Vice Chairman), Damon N. Dashe, Esq (Member), Chike Onyeacho, Esq.(Member), Adamu Sani Osmond, Esq. (Member), Kelvin Omuojine, Esq.(Member), Queen W. Otarakpo, Esq. (Secretary).

CASE 2:   GO – ROUND FC V. SHOOTING STARS SPORTS CLUB (3SC FC)

INTRODUCTION

This Case involves Go – Round FC Vs. 3SC FC in a match fixture playedon 5th July, 2021 at Krisdera Stadium, Omoku, Rivers State.

Go – Round FC is protesting the Summary Decisions of the NigeriaNational League.

With the scores at 1-1, in the 4th minute of the 5 minutes of addedtime towards the end of the second half of the match, the Referee wasaccosted and struck with a blow by an individual who encroachedtowards the field of play. The Referee had just awarded a free kick tothe away team, Shooting Stars (3SC) in their own penalty box after aplayer of the home team, Go Round FC was adjudged to have fouled aplayer of the away team.

Upon being struck, the Referee made his way towards the centre of thepitch, holding his face and received treatment.

The incident caused a disruption of the match for up to 48 minutes,after which the match continued and a penalty was eventually awardedto the home team, which was scored. Afterwards, the Referee concludedthe match.

The official match reports (of the Referee and Match Commissioner)stated that the control services were poor and the match security wascompromised. There was also no observance of COVID-19 protocol, withthe presence of home supporters, who were described as being unruly.

The Referee also stated that he was threatened by the General Managerof the home team and forced to prolong the match beyond the 5 minutesof added time and to “manufacture” a penalty for the home team, whichhe did under duress in order to protect the lives and safety of thematch officials. He stated that an additional added time of sevenminutes was given, during which period home team was awarded thepenalty from which they scored. The Referee further stated that thiswas done under duress, granting the request to award the home team apenalty in order for them to leave the stadium alive but to the bestof their knowledge the match had ended at 1-1.

Within its powers of summary jurisdiction, the Nigeria National League(NNL), inter alia, considered the 1-1 score-line indicated by theReferee as the final score-line of the match and imposed a NGN500,000fine on Go Round FC.

Being dissatisfied with that decision, Go Round FC requested for ahearing by this Committee.

FINDINGS:

There were breaches of the COVID-19 Protocol as spectators werepresent during the match.

There was encroachment by a supporter of the home team, Go Round FC,who struck the Referee and caused the match to be disrupted in the94th minute.

A review of the penalty awarded to Go Round FC in the latter stagesindicate that the decision is such as would generally be described ascontroversial at least.

Go Round FC admitted to encroachment but claims that theresponsibility for match security lies with its State FootballAssociation and not itself.

While denying the allegations that the match officials were threatenedand put under duress by its General Manager, Dr. Soni Uboh, Go RoundFC acknowledged that he was present at the centre of the pitch afterthe match was disrupted, to plead with the match officials to continuewith the match.

Go Round FC alleges that there is a conspiracy and gang-up against itby the NNL.

DECISIONS:

By virtue of 17.1 of the NNL Rules, the ultimate responsibility formatchday security lies with the home club, as it adds that “nothing inthese Rules shall prevent the home club from taking responsibility forensuring that there is adequate security”.

Go Round FC is fined the sum of NGN1,000,000 for the act ofencroachment by its supporter in breach of 16.1 of the NNL Rules. Thenature and circumstances of the breach i.e. the attack on the Refereeand the resulting disruption of the match was considered with a viewto imposing a more severe sanction pursuant to 27.3 of the NNL Rules.

Go Round FC is also fined the sum of NGN300,000 for breach of theCOVID-19 Protocol.

According to the Laws of the Game (Law 5 of 2020/2021 edition), theReferee has the discretion to take appropriate action within theframework of the Laws of the Game and “the decisions of the refereeregarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goalis scored and the result of the match, are final … and … must alwaysbe respected”. Therefore, we are constrained to respect, and notalter, the decision of the Referee as to the result of the match.However, taking cognizance of the circumstances of the disruption,which lasted for up to 48 minutes, including the further 7 minutes(beyond the official added time), and, in particular, the corroboratedand uncontroverted evidence that the continuation was done underduress for the safety and protection of the match officials, thecontinuation of the match cannot be upheld.

Upon consideration of the overall circumstances (including logistics,the current football calendar) the justice of this case is best servedby applying 15.10 of the NNL Rules (i.e. the power to order that amatch, which for whatever reason lasts for less than 90 minutes, shallbe replayed, or continued, or count as a complete fixture) to declarethe match concluded as at the point of disruption in the 94th minute,with the scores at the time, i.e. 1-1, deemed to be the full timescores.

A warning is issued to Go Round FC to ensure the proper conduct of itsofficials at all times, pursuant to 25.1 of the NNL Rules.

The above decision is without prejudice to the right of appeal.

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media Below↯↯↯