LMC Fines, Bans Boboye Over Critical Comments About Match Officials

Akwa United head coach Kennedy Boboye has been charged with “making public comments in criticism of match officials” by the League Management Company and fined N250,000 following his comments about the officiating in his side’s loss at Heartland on matchday 6.

Boboye was highly critical of center referee Kazzim Abdulsalam and his assistants after his side’s Nigeria Professional Football League match against Heartland on 24 January.

The LMC said Boboye’s “comments made after the Heartland vs Akwa Utd match amounted to a breach of paragraph 7 of Appendix B: Code of Conduct for Managers and Coaches (public criticism of match officials) and C1.1 (misconduct) of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL.”

In addition to the N250,000 fine, the Akwa United boss will also serve a one match ban from effective on Matchday 7.

Boboye said of the officiating after the match: “It’s a shame. I honestly don’t have anything to say because we can never grow with officiating like this. It’s a shame to Nigerian football that we are still on this level.

“Any team that wants to win should win in a very good platform, not by cheating.

“I am highly disappointed in the referees, highly. The two goals the team (Heartland) scored were not supposed to be goals. The first penalty was not a penalty, the second goal was an offside goal.”

In a related development, Boboye’s club Akwa United has been fined a total of N3 million for “breach of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL, in the course of the Matchday 5 fixture against Wikki Tourists”.

The LMC alleges certain members of “Akwa United’s contingent accosted and harassed match officials as they made their way to the changing room immediately after the match, in the process of which the Assistant Referee II sustained injuries to his head & face.”

“The acts according to the charge amounted to a breach of Rule B8.21 (failure to ensure adequate security for match officials) and C1.1 (misconduct) of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL,” the LMC added.

A breakdown of the fine include N1 million for failure to ensure adequate protection for match officials, N500,000 for harassment of match officials, N1 million to be paid as compensation to the match officials and an additional fine of N500,000 for misconduct capable of bringing the game to disrepute.

The LMC also warned that “any repeated or similar breach shall be dealt with as an aggravated breach and attract severe sanctions, including but not limited to an order moving the club to a different venue for its home matches, deduction of points, etc.”

Akwa United are required, within 48 hours of the date of the notice, to either submit to the summary jurisdiction and the sanctions or face a commission.

Also coming under the LMC hammer is Jigawa Stars coach Gilbert Opana who was charged with a breach of NPFL Framework & Rules for his refusal to grant any post-match interview after the game against Kwara United on matchday 5 and “for his public criticism of match officials which brought the game to disrepute”.

The Jigawa coach has been fined the sum of N250,000 and is banned from NPFL matches and activities for a period of two matches from Matchday 7.