Heartland FC officials have accepted the sanction to pay N750, 000 for their failure to control their players who harassed the match referee and pushed him down., during the violence that erupted in their match against Ifeanyi Ubah Football club.
They apologized for the lapse and appealed for leniency citing the fact that their goalkeeper was a first offender.
In the letter signed by the General Manager, Oscar Keke, the club pleaded for a reduction of the fine adding that “Heartland is not known for crowd trouble even in the face of negative results. The incident under reference must be viewed as an aberration in the light of which we are appealing for a substantial reduction in the fine.”
Keke also noted that, “Ebele Obi’s conduct is certainly not reflective of his usual behaviour. We are appealing for clemency on his behalf. Moreover, the gravity and level of punishment coming on the heels of the brutality he suffered in the hands of the proprietor of FC IfeanyiUbah and his security aides will amount to double jeopardy for the young man.”
Also arising from the FC IfeanyiUbah versus Heartland match, the LMC has written to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) recommending that the Match Commissioner, Sunday Jibrin Audu from Federal Capital Territory and the Center Referee, Ibrahim Ajao be withdrawn from futher officiating in NPFL matches.
In a review of performance carried out by the LMC, Ajao was cited for failure to report the multiple assault incidences recorded during and after the match. He also was cited for failure to submit his match report within the statutory 24 hours as the said report was only submitted on March 31st, while the match held on March 23.
Similarly, the Match Commissioner, Audu was also charged for failure to adequately reflect in his report the cases of multiple assaults on Heartland goalkeeper and his teammates.
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