Following their shameful display at the opening match of the League season, FC Ifeanyi Ubah have tendered an apology to football fans, and have accepted the punishment subsequently meted out on them by the League Management Company (LMC).
The Federation Cup and NFF Charity Cup winners abandoned their Nigeria Professional Football League match-day one game against Kano Pillars at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Saturday, when the centre referee Folusho Ajayi sent off the club’s Team Manager, Jonathan Igwe, in the 52nd minute of the game, for an unsportsmanlike behaviour.
The LMC had on Monday imposed a fine totaling N9.15m on the Nnewi-based side for their action, adding that they will also forfeit three points, three goals from the match plus a further three points from their future games this season.
The Company also imposed a N500,000 fine and indefinite suspension on the Team Manager, Jonathan Igwe.
But in a statement released on Tuesday by Ifeanyi Ubah, the club have expressed its remorse over the incident and have pledged to remain in total submission of the jurisdiction of football authorities in the country.
“LMC/NPFL summary decision in total submission to the jurisdiction of sporting authorities in Nigeria and with total commitment to the growth of the NPFL, we hereby accept the sanctions imposed on us as contained in your letter dated 16, January 2017 and will not be lodging any form of appeal against the decision of the LMC,” the Anambra Warriors stated in a statement on their official Twitter handle on Tuesday.
And on their official website, the Club’s Press release which was signed by the Chairman, rendered apology to the NFF, the Kano State government, management of Kano Pillars, many others and lastly, the fans.
“We use this medium to apologise to our teeming fans and football lovers all over Nigeria and around the world for the disappointing display that has brought the name of the beautiful game to disrepute,” a part of the statement read.
Below is the full text of the Club’s Press Release:
REF: 2016/2017 NPFL FIXTURE BETWEEN KANO PILLARS VS FC IFEANYI UBAH ON THE 14TH OF JANUARY, 2017 AT THE SANI ABACHA STADIUM, KANO.
Our attention has been drawn to the sad events that led to the abandonment of the opening game of the 2016/2017 NPFL season between Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah on the 14th of January, 2017 at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. After extensive investigations into the occurrences that culminated in the disappointing start of the Nigeria Professional Football League, the Management of FC Ifeanyi Ubah has arrived at the following findings:
1. That the Team Manager, Mr. Jonathan Igwe in a rather autocratic and unprofessional manner took laws into his hands by dishing out orders to the team without due recourse to the statutes and ethics of the game.
2. That his actions were borne out of an uncontrollable emotion owing to his perceived antagonistic behaviour of the centre referee who he claimed allowed a goal that was flagged offside by the linesman to stand against us and disallowing a legitimate goal scored by FC Ifeanyi Ubah via a direct freekick deep into stoppage time of the first half.
3. That he is deeply remorseful for his actions and the role he played in the eventual abandonment of the match between Kano Pillars and our darling club, FC Ifeanyi Ubah at the Sani Abacha Stadium which also resulted in him being given a red card by the centre referee. In view of the aforementioned, the club has reached the following decisions:
1. That the Team Manager Mr. Jonathan Igwe is suspended for four (4) football matches with immediate effect and will forfeit one (1) month salary/allowances for his unprofessionalism and role in the eventual abandonment of the match.
2. That the Team Manager is not to be seen in the venue of any FC Ifeanyi Ubah match during the period of his suspension.
3. That the Team Manager is mandated to issue a letter of apology and promise of good conduct to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the organisers of the NPFL, the League Management Company (LMC) within 72 hours.
4. That the Team Manager is also to issue a written unreserved apology letter to the club and its teeming fans. The Management of FC Ifeanyi Ubah hereby tenders an unreserved apology to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) for the outcome of the match between Kano Pillars and FC Ifeanyi Ubah which was supposed to be a befitting curtain raiser for the 2016/2017 NPFL season.
Our most sincere and heartfelt apology goes out to the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick and the Chairman of the League Management Company, Mallam Shehu Dikko who has done so much in promoting the NPFL while raising the standards of the league and football in Nigeria.
We also wish to apologise to all important dignitaries, especially the Governor of Kano State, H.E. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Management of Kano Pillars, the good people of Kano State, Chairmen of various State FAs, sponsors of the NPFL and members of the press who were present to witness the match.
Finally, may we use this medium to apologise to our teeming fans and football lovers all over Nigeria and around the world for the disappointing display that has brought the name of the beautiful game to disrepute. This is highly regrettable and we wish to state categorically that we would do everything within our powers to make sure that such occurrence does not repeat itself.
The club condemns explicitly the unprofessional conduct of Mr. Jonathan Igwe and believe that the sanctions imposed on the Team Manager will serve as a severe deterrent to the entire management and playing staff of the club. FC Ifeanyi Ubah vows to uphold the statutes and tenets of the beautiful game we love so much.
Thank you and God bless.
Signed for: FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
Mr. Chukwuma Ubah.
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