NPFL: Enugu Rangers, Enyimba FC Slammed With Huge Punishments For Their Infractions In Their Matchday 35 Clash


    Following what was deemed as a show of shame in the Nigeria Premier Football League, Rangers and Enyimba have been slammed with huge punishments for their wrongdoing.

    The two gigantic Nigerian clubs faced off in a clash dubbed the “oriental derby” on Sunday, June 9, 2024, with fans trooping out in numbers to support their respective clubs at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.

    Enyimba Players Abandoned The Encounter After Referee Ojeleye Blew For A Penalty To Enugu Rangers

    Both sides ended regulation of the affair level, and deep into added time, Enyimba’s Pascal Eze seemingly pulled Rangers’ forward Godwin Obaje, who was in a goalscoring position.

    The center referee for the fixture, John Ojeleye, apparently had initially indicated an offside but altered his decision calling for a penalty to the home side.

    The People’s Elephant got infuriated by the judgment of the referee, with the game immediately boiling over, as players of Enyimba indicated their displeasure embarrassingly, before subsequently exiting the pitch.

    Via a letter put out on June 10, 2024, and issued to Rangers by the NPFL Chief Operating Officer, Davidson Owumi, the league outlined several breaches of its rules committed by the Flying Antelopes during the game.

    Enyimba fans were also said to have invaded the pitch leading to the game being abandoned, and this has infuriated the governing body of the division.

    Handing out their judgment on Monday, June 10, 2024, the letter indicated the list of offenses Rangers was found culpable of.

    Rangers Guilty Of Over-ticketing The Oriental Derby

    They were found to have violated Rule B15.24, as the club over-ticketed the encounter, leading to overcrowding at the stadium, with fans even seen in unauthorized areas like the Tartan Track.

    This transgression led to them receiving a fine of 2 million Naira, while they were also cited for failing to provide appropriate security for such a big clash.

    In that case, they contravened Rule B13.52 and that attracted a fine of 1 million naira.

    In like manner, Rangers also failed to implement adequate and effective crowd control measures, and that also resulted in an additional fine of N1m, as they fell foul of Rule B13.52.1.

    The Nigeria Premier League also deemed Rangers to have contravened Rule B13.52 by failing to prevent unauthorized persons from being in restricted areas.

    This also attracted them a fine of 1 million naira, and this indicates that Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side have been slammed with a cumulative fine of 5 million Naira for their transgressions.

    Additionally, Rangers have been ordered by the league to put in place “a more effective crowd control mechanism in subsequent home games.”

    They have also been handed 48 hours to either submit to the summary jurisdiction and the prescribed sanctions or elect to be dealt with by a disciplinary panel. 

    Failure to comply or a frivolous appeal could result in additional sanctions as may be deemed fit in the circumstances, in accordance with Rule E1 of the NPFL’s Frameworks and Rules.

    Enyimba Handed Huge Punishments

    Enyimba, who are tutored by Olanrewaju Yemi Daniel, were expectedly hammered with heavy punishments for their infractions.

    Equally, via a letter shared by the NPL, they noted that Enyimba contravened Rule B13.18 as its team and supporters threw objects and encroached onto the field of play.

    The most successful club in Nigeria was also found culpable of breaching Rule C1.1 by refusing to continue the match in protest against a penalty awarded to Rangers.

    Their actions were deemed as an act “against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, the league rules, and capable of bringing the game to disrepute.”

    The defending champions of the Nigeria Premier Football League also transgressed by causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match, a violation of Rule B13.24, and they were fined 2 million Naira for it.

    Enyimba were also fined 1 million Naira for failing to ensure the rightful conduct of their team, alongside a fine of 5 million Naira for disrupting a live broadcast.

    They also received a fine of 1 million Naira for their fans throwing objects onto the field of play alongside another 1 million Naira for them encroaching onto the field of play.

    Players And Officials Of Enyimba In Soup After Fracas In Clash Against Rangers

    The People’s Elephants have been ordered to identify and produce for further investigation and adequate sanctions other players and officials involved in the disruptive conduct that led to the discontinuation of the derby encounter.

    Eze Ekwutoziam (Jersey No. 6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (Jersey No. 27), and Akanni Elijah (Jersey No. 10) are players who have been identified for assaulting match officials and likewise causing a disruption to the affair.

    They have also been given 48 hours like Rangers to either submit to the summary jurisdiction and the aforementioned sanctions or opt to be dealt with by a disciplinary panel.

    If they fail to comply or file a frivolous appeal, Enyimba could be hammed with additional punishments.

    Nigeria Premier League’s Final Verdict On The Oriental Derby

    Unfortunately for the Olanrewaju Daniel’s men, they will also forfeit 3 points and 3 goals to Rangers, having refused to allow the penalty awarded against them to be taken.

    Based on the verdict, Rangers remain at the summit of the Nigeria Premier Football League table with 64 points from 35 matches, and they return to action on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, visiting the Lekan Salami Stadium to play Shooting Stars.

    Enyimba occupy the second spot on the table with 59 points, level on points with Remo Stars, who occupy the 3rd spot on the table.

    The People’s Elephant welcome Bayelsa United to the Aba Township Stadium for Matchday 36 action, as the league draws to its conclusion.

    Enyimba have won 9 Nigeria Premier League titles, while Rangers have won 7, with the former being the most successful club in the division, while the latter are the second most successful career in the league.


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