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LMC fines Rangers for supporters’ disorderly conduct

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
The managements of Rangers International, Lobi Stars and Niger Tornadoes have all been issued summary jurisdiction notices by the League Management Company (LMC) for various breaches they and their fans committed on Sunday.
The breaches were in the course of Match Day 1 of the 2016/2017 Nigeria Football Professional League (NPFL) season.
According to the LMC, Rangers, who are the competition’s defending champions,  committed more serious breaches which include Rules B13.52, B13.18 and C1.1 which attracted a cumulative fine of N2.75 million.
In the first charge for breach of Rule B13.52, they were accused of not ensuring restriction of access to unauthorised persons to all restricted areas during their match against Abia Warriors.
“Two men gained access to the corridor of the referees’ changing room in an attempt to intimidate and/or harass the referees, and they further gained access to the State Box to harass officials of the visiting team,’’ the LMC charge signed by Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer (COO) read.
In count two, the LMC charged Rangers with breach of Rule 13.18.
It cited the encroachment on the field of play and throwing of objects towards the field of play by the club’s supporters.
On the third count, Rangers were charged with breach of Rule C1.1, punishable by Rule B15.16 for their supporters’ conduct which was deemed capable of bringing the League to disrepute.
This conduct, the charge read, “included their attempt to assault match officials and hauling stones and other missiles at the match officials while they were being escorted off the field of play by security personnel.’’
LMC said it was in the process of this that the Match Commissioner and a security operative were injured by missiles thrown.
Meanwhile, Lobi Stars of Makurdi have been charged for failing to have the surname of their players written at the back of their jerseys during their match against Shooting Stars.
LMC said this was in breach of Rule B9.7 and punishable under Rule B9.12 of the NPFL Framework and Rules, and the club were fined N100,000.
Also, Niger Tornadoes were charged for having the design and lettering of their players’ shirt names and numbers not meeting the prescribed standard and not up to the league’s approval.
The Minna-based Tornadoes are to pay N100,000 for this breach.
All the clubs have a deadline of close of business on Thursday to respond in writing, indicating acceptance of the sanctions or electing to appeal.

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