By Sedara Philip
The Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria Professional Football League has been given a pat on the back for upholding the rules of the league, The PUNCH reports.
This follows the deduction of three points and three goals as well as a fine of N1.25m placed on Remo Stars over an assault on a match official during their NPFL match-day 12 encounter against Gombe United on Sunday.
There was no hiding place for the club as the IMC wielded its hammer, despite the chairman of the club, Kunle Soname, being a member of the Gbenga Elegbeleye-led IMC board.
Remo Stars were also mandated to ensure diligent prosecution of their General Manager, Ekene Adams, who was identified for the alleged attack on the referee.
Remo’s Ikenne home ground has become a fearful venue for visiting teams as irate home fans wreak havoc on players, officials and fans at will.
In 2019, they were banished to Osogbo after an attack on Bendel Insurance by their fans. In 2022, the club was also sanctioned over a similar incident between their fans and supporters of 3SC after a match-day 11 game last season.
Chairman of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria task force, Harrison Jalla said the manner of the punishment speaks volume and will aid the growth of the league.
“That decision was fair because it was a breach of the rule and they quickly applied it and if the standard of the NPFL remains the way it is, the league will begin to find its rightful place in Africa. The fact that the owner of Remo is a member of the IMC shows that these guys are ready to create an atmosphere for the league to thrive,” Jalla told our correspondent.
“Not only Remo Stars, we have seen Lobi Stars and Doma United being checked recently, while Bayelsa United have also been punished by the same measures before,” he added.
SuperSport NPFL analyst, Ralph Chidozie-George, also commended the IMC for not being sentimental in meting out the punishment to Remo.
“Before we have had cases when one rule applies to clubs from some regions but does not apply to others. This kind of selective punishment has been one of the reasons our league can’t compete in Africa. So, in the real sense of it, no team should be above the law and that is what we have seen them demonstrate. Even if the chairman himself has a team, if they go against the rule, they should get punished,” George said.
The points deduction means Remo’s 21 points become 18 as they dropped to fifth from third on the Group A table of the abridged league with a two-goal deficit in goals difference.
Source Punch Ng