Stakeholders in the Nigerian Professional Football League and the Nigerian National League have frowned at the punishment inflicted on the offending clubs by the league organizers.
This follows the NNL’s decision to fine Bendel Insurance N1m after his supporters invaded the pitch and assaulted match officials in their 1-1 draw with Ekiti United in the Super 8 qualifiers at Enugu last week.
Before the incident, the NNL fined Remo Stars N 900,000 in June after video footage showed insurance players running for a dear life and jumping a fence to escape the mayhem of angry fans waving sticks and sticks pursuing them in Ikenne, Ogun State.
Meanwhile, in March, LMC fined Sunshine Stars 3.5m N and banned the Akure-based team in Lagos after a locker room disruption in an NPFL Matchday 15 match against Nasarawa. United at Akure.
The Shekarau Babes were fined 1.5million naira after club fans beat match officials after their NNL game against DMD FC in Maiduguri ended 1-1 on June 6 in Kano.
Talk with The punch, Alloy Chukwuemeka, club owners secretary, said the guidance and point deduction would help curb the way ahead.
He said: âI think the best strategy is orientation because fans and clubs orient themselves to understand that football is not about do or die. The rules keep changing and the umpires understand it, but fans don’t have the education to align with the new rules. The best way to curb this threat is continuous guidance.
âWhen you invade a field and attack the match officials, the mark is damaged and the best solution is not to impose fines, because an offender can choose to pay the fine and commit the same crime again.
âThe last resort is to go back to the rulebook, look at the areas that need change, look for the best option instead of the good, maybe a point deduction and things that will make them realize that those actions aren’t. are not good for the league. For example, you can ban a club from their field for a season to make their fans feel the pain. ”
La Liga ambassador to Nigeria and former Super Eagles midfielder Mutiu Adepoju believes drastic action could help stop the threat.
He said: âThe fines imposed on clubs do not reduce the threat of violence in the country’s league. In all the leagues there are rules and regulations which I think we also have in the Nigerian leagues.
âSomething must be done and I think it must be drastic, the measures on the ground are not working. We have to look for another way to make people understand that this is very serious. I’m not sure if deducting points and banning teams will do the trick, but I just think something needs to be done to let fans know that there shouldn’t be violence at match venues. . I also think fan enlightenment should be done.
Former Abia Warriors sporting director Patrick Ngwaogu added: âI think the safety aspect needs to be taken seriously because we don’t need to wait for them to kill someone before we start looking. who to punish. Fines don’t stop violence; every match commissioner should insist that if certain safety conditions are not met, the match should not continue.
âIf such a decision is taken and the league organizers ratify it, then there will be no problem; any club that opposes it should be severely punished. I think the time has come for the NFF, LMC, NNL to empower the match officers. Anyone who compromises should also be severely punished. “
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