Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) outfit Sunshine Stars have been handed a three-point deduction for repeated breaches of the Framework and Rules guarding the league.
The punishment meted out to Sunshine Stars is an unprecedented application of the NPFL Framework and Rules and it was contained in a Summary Jurisdiction notice sent to the club on Friday night by the League Management Company (LMC).
According to the notice, the league body reviewed a series of previous breaches of the rule by the club dating back to the 2014/2015 season for which the Akure-based outfit received different sanctions that include monetary fines, playing without fans, ban of use of home ground and an order to identify for prosecution, supporters cited for acts of breach of security and or interference with match officials.
The aforementioned notice signed by the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, said: “These repeated breaches constitute aggravated circumstances which are considered with a view towards imposing more severe sanctions. It is noted that despite the imposition of a range of corrective sanctions including fines, ‘closed door’ orders and stadium bans, Sunshine Stars has failed to curb these acts of disturbances and contempt for match officials which are capable of bringing the league to disrepute.”
The latest punishment was prompted by fans’ trouble thereby leading to injuries to one of the match officials during the club’s goalless draw affair with Kano Pillars in a Matchday 8 league clash.
The LMC have also ordered the club to pay a fine of N1million and a further N500,000 to the injured match official.
Sunshine Stars were also handed a suspended three-point deduction sentence in the event of a recurrence.
They have 48 hours to either accept or appeal the decision in writing though a negative outcome from the ‘potential’ decision appeal will attract further sanctions.
In a related development, the LMC asked the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to immediately withdraw three match officials from further consideration for subsequent NPFL matches for conducts capable of bringing the league to disrepute.
The three match officials, centre referee David Akure and assistant referees, Apine Emmanuel and Lewis Owolana, were reportedly guilty of not capturing the injury to one of the assistant referees adequately in the official match report that was submitted late.
In the other decisions made by the LMC, Kwara United coach Maji Mohammed and Katsina United Team Manager Ganiyu Adeleke have both been charged for breach of code of conduct for club officials after they both engaged in physical confrontation after Matchday 8 in Ilorin.
Consequently, they have both been suspended from further participation and access to venues of all NPFL activities for the next ten matches.
The league body also handed out reprieve to some players and officials of FC IfeanyiUbah who were last season banned for one year for violent conduct at the Confluence Stadium in Lokoja at the end of the 2016/17 Matchday 36 fixture.
The reprieve was contained in the notice sent to the club that the ban has been lifted on condition of good behavior until the end of the season.
The club officers are Chidi Nwogu (Secretary) and Obi Adirika (Kits Manager) while the players in question are Isaac Loute, Wilson Elu, Godfrey Uchenna Jnr, and Michael Egbeta.
Others are Kone Soumaila, Ngoma Loumba, Stephen Eze, Adeleye Olamilekan and Nkurwna Douglas.