Pillars, Katsina Utd, Remo Stars condemn violence, accept LMC sanctions

•Remo Stars appeals order to compensate sports journalist

All four clubs recently sanctioned by the League Management Company (LMC) for various breaches of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) rules have written to accept the decisions but Remo Stars elected to appeal the decision ordering the club to compensate a Sports Journalist, Kelvin Ekerete who was assaulted at their stadium.

In accepting the fines imposed on Kano Pillars for the incidents of Match Day 18 against Akwa United, the management of the club pleaded for leniency in enforcing the stadium ban and suspended points’ deduction. The letter signed by the Club Secretary, Zakari Akilu Bichi said the management of Kano Pillars condemned the act and conduct of some of their fans.

“We will like to first and foremost register our unreserved apology over the incidence that ensued sequel to our match with Akwa United on the 9th day of April, 2017. We wish to inform the entire League Management Company that the members of Kano Pillars Board condemned the unholy act and conduct of some of our fans.”

“While we regret the aforementioned incidence, we find it most necessary to inform the LMC, that Kano Pillars FC is a law abiding Football Club and will not drag with the LMC, accordingly, we concede to the sanctions imposed on us”, Bichi wrote.

Citing the club’s previous efforts at ensuring strong security presence during matches, Kano Pillars noted that it spends about N.3m on security every matchday while an unruly fan was recently arrested and handed over to the Police.

Relying on the above mitigating circumstances, Pillars thus appealed for a reduction in the fine and standing down of the other sanctions. Kano Pillars were fined a total of N7.5m in addition to indefinite stadium ban and including N250,000 as compensation to each of the match officials and payment of further certified medical bill the match officials may present.

Katsina United Chairman, Aminu Balele Kurfi wrote to the LMC to condemn the attack on Enyimba FC contingent and revealed that the smashed windows of the Aba Elephants were replaced hours after the incident.

“We wish to formally accept the sanctions meted out on Katsina United following the rather unfortunate incidents during our NPFL home game against Enyimba on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

“We also wish to use this opportunity to totally condemn those behind the smashing of the team bus of Enyimba”, Kurfi wrote. In addition to suspended sanction of points deduction, Katsina United were fined N3.5m including an order to pay N500, 000 as compensation for damages to the bus of Enyimba FC and the cost of repairing the bus.

Remo Stars in response to the Summary Jurisdiction notice issued it in respect of the Match Day 15 match against Wikki Tourists, accepted the fines imposed for the intimidation of match officials, throwing of objects on to the field of play and accessed to unauthorized persons to restricted areas.

However, the Club Secretary, Michael Onikute who signed the letter indicated that they wish to contest the findings on the assault on a Sports Journalist, Kelvin Ekerrete, claiming that he was not accredited to cover the match.

“Kelvin Ekerette was neither accredited as a Journalist for the game nor seated at the media tribune for easy identification like other over 15 Journalists that covered the match”, the Remo Stars official wrote.

Sanctions imposed on Remo Stars including a total fine of N2.5m including the N250,000 compensation to the Sports Journalist and a suspended three points’ deduction sanction. It also included a three match stadium ban to fans, two of which is suspended provided the incidents do not occur again before the conclusion of the season. Their appeal will now be heard by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Disciplinary body.

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