The Nationwide League One has handed a two-year ban from all football-related matters to one of the coaches of Cofine FC Remmy Amadi for alleged match-fixing.
In addition, Cofine FC have been fined N500, 000, with the results of all the matches they have played so far at the Calabar center of the NLO Division 1 playoffs cancelled.
In a recorded telephone conversation (largely in Igbo), Amadi was heard trying to negotiate the outcome of their match against Bussdor United – who were practically out of contention for a promotion ticket after losing their first four matches – with head coach of the Owerri-based side Emeka Okoronkwo.
Winners of the round-robin playoffs at the Calabar center will face the top team from the Port Harcourt zone for a place in the second-tier Nigeria National League (NNL).
Before the cancellation of their results, Ikot Ekpene-based Cofine FC led the standings at the Calabar center, and Amadi was hoping Bussdor Utd could do them a favour to seal top spot.
In a statement signed by its Chief Operating Officer Olushola Ogunnowo, the NLO said “this is an interim decision and shall be forwarded to the NFF integrity/match-Fixing Unit for further sanctions as the unit deemed fit”.
Meanwhile, Cofine FC have since challenged the decisions, stating in an appeal letter that the “audio conversation” between Amadi and Okoronkwo “involved a trainee coach who was not acting on the orders of the club management”.
The appeal letter further added that ‘’the Summary charge to cancel all our Matches was unfair on the energy exuded by our players in every match and taken in haste”.