The Nigeria National League (NNL) has taken a strong stance against violence in football by fining Sokoto United and Ijebu United for violating the league’s rules. The two clubs were found to have committed the offence during their matchday three fixtures.
Sokoto United was hit with a hefty fine of N1 million for their offence, as well as an additional N50,000 to replace the damaged windscreen of the Kebbi United bus and the hospital bill to treat the injured Kebbi player, Eli John. The team’s fans had intimidated and attacked match officials with missiles during half-time, as they were retiring back to the dressing room. The same thing happened again on their way out to resume the second half, leading to a delay in the commencement of the second half.
The attack continued after the match, which ended 2-1 in favour of the home team, Kebbi United, causing serious concern for the safety of match officials. As a result, Sokoto United chief coach, Muhammed Dan Asabe, and his goalkeeper trainer, Shehu Rilwan, were handed a two-month ban by the NNL for their roles in the attack on the match officials.
Sokoto United has been given until the 15th of December to respond to the fine, and the NNL has made it clear that such behaviour will not be tolerated in the league.
Similarly, Ijebu United has been fined N500,000 for the attack that their supporters carried out on match officials during their matchday three encounter with Tradesafe Football Club of Lagos. The supporters of Ijebu United were alleged to have descended on match officials after the away team, Tradesafe, equalized in the game that ended 1-1.
The NNL has made it clear that the safety of match officials is of paramount importance and that such attacks will not be tolerated. Ijebu United has been given until their next home game to pay the fine.
Football is a game that brings people together, and it is important that fans, players, and officials alike respect the rules of the game and each other. Violence has no place in football, and the NNL is committed to ensuring that the league remains a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone involved.
In conclusion, it is important for clubs to take responsibility for the actions of their fans and officials and to work together to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. The NNL’s decision to fine Sokoto United and Ijebu United sends a clear message that violence will not be tolerated in the league.