The Nigeria Football Federation Disciplinary Committee has reversed the decision of the League Management Company to award MFM FC all three points after FC Ifeanyiubah failed to show up for the NPFL matchday 20 fixture between both clubs in Enugu in May.
The NFF says the fixture will have to be replayed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium at a date to be determined by the LMC.
FCIU will have to bear the costs associated with replaying the match as well as referees’ indemnities and pay a sum of N2 million naira to cover MFM expenses.
The decision means MFM’s points total drop to 33 which will see them slide from 11th to 14th in the table.
The Lagos club had been awarded a walkover victory in the 9 May fixture between both sides after FC Ifeanyiubah failed to report to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium venue of the match.
The game was a designated home match for FC Ifeanyiubah but the Nnewi side had been banished to Enugu after matchday 15 by the LMC because their home ground the Nnewi Township Stadium was deemed unsafe to host games.
The LMC stipulated the club could only return to Nnewi after it provides a satisfactory stadium security plan which the league body would have to approve.
In failing to honour the match, however, FC Ifeanyiubah claimed they believed their banishment to have been fully served as the match was listed to be held in Nnewi when the fixtures were released by the LMC and lodged an appeal with the NFF.
In reversing the forfeiture awarded against FC Ifeanyiubah, the NFF Disciplinary Committee blamed a ‘typo’ for the Nnewi club’s no show. It was claimed the fixture had been erroneously listed as to be held in Nnewi which “may have caused FC Ifeanyiubah to erroneously assume that the match venue would be Nnewi instead of Enugu”.
“The match between FC Ifeanyiubah Vs. MFM FC is hereby ordered to be played at Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu on a date to be determined by the LMC,” the Disciplinary Committee declared.
In other decisions taken by the Committee, NNL side Remo Stars were fined a total N900,000 (nine hundred thousand naira) for breaching Covid-19 protocols by allowing fans into the stadium for their match with Bendel Insurance and the interruption of the match due to
encroachment by their supporters.
Of that sum, N400,000 (four hundred thousand naira) was awarded as ‘general damages’ to Bendel Insurance with the size of the award blamed on Insurance’s failure to “submit any
medical bills for their injured players and officials and receipt of cost of repairs to their damaged Bus”.
Citing rules 16.3 and 15.10 of the NNL regulations, which states that games interrupted at 0-0 shall count as a complete fixture, with the 0-0 as the final scoreline, the Committee declared the match concluded as a goalless stalemate.