Pillars to pay fine, get suspended sentence

Kano Pillars has been N2.4 million, slapped a suspended two closed door home matches and directed to organize a public workshop on appropriate conduct for their fans.

This follows the rowdy behaviour of their fans during and after the rescheduled Match Day 7 fixture against Enyimba International at the Sani Abacha Stadium on Wednesday.

The match recorded an unprecedented attendance of fans for a midweek game estimated to be above 30, 000 but was almost marred by restive home fans who were not happy their team lost to a rival.

These sanctions emanated from investigation of the incident by the League Management Company (LMC) which commended the Security agencies for their role in containing the situation and ensuring the safe passage of players, match officials and fans.

In a summary jurisdiction notice served Kano Pillars, the LMC charged the club for breaches of Rules B13.18, B13.23 and C1.

“You are in breach of Rule B13.18 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on 4th May, 2016 in the course of your rescheduled Match Day 7 fixture: Kano Pillars FC vs. Enyimba FC, your supporters threw objects including water sachets towards the field of play and towards the Assistant Referee II, which resulted in the temporary stoppage of the match in the second half”, the first charge read.

Rule 13.18 states that "no person shall encroach onto or throw objects towards the field of play at any time in the course of a match, whether before, during or immediately after the match or during the half-time interval".

In the second charge, Kano Pillars was again accused of breach of 13.18 in that their supporters encroached on the field of play immediately after the match in that on 4th May, 2016.

The LMC also cited Kano Pillars for a third breach stating that “You are in breach of Rule C1 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on 4th May, 2016 immediately after your rescheduled Match Day 7 fixture: Kano Pillars FC vs. Enyimba FC, your supporters conducted themselves in a disorderly manner amounting to misconduct, including acts of throwing objects towards match officials and players, as a result of which the teams match officials were unable to exit the stadium immediately after the match, and in the course of which a driver of the visiting team was hit by an object and injured, and the side mirror and windshield of the Toyota Camry vehicle in his possession was damaged outside the stadium”.

Rule C1 which deals with different acts that constitute misconduct states in 1.1 that "Players, Club officials and every person involved in the League shall at all times act in the best interest of the game and comply with the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, the rules and regulations governing the League and not act (whether through words, conducts or behaviour) in a manner capable of bringing the game into disrepute; failure of which constitutes misconduct and a breach of the League Rules.

It therefore ruled that on the first count, Kano Pillars are to pay a fine of N500, 000 for the offence of their supporters throwing objects towards the field of play during the match.

For their supporters encroaching on the field of play immediately after the match in violation of Rule B13.18a and b, Pillars were fined another N500, 000.

The LMC imposed a further fine of N250, 000 to be paid by Pillars to a driver of Enyimba International who was injured by one of the objects thrown by the supporters after the match while N150, 000 will also be paid to Enyimba for the damage to their vehicle in line with Rule B13.23

Pillars were also fine N1 million for the disorderliness and general misconduct of their supporters immediately after the match in breach of Rule C1.

A two match suspended closed door sanction was also imposed on the club and which will be executed should there be a recurrence of the disorderly conduct of their supporters in the remaining games of the season. LMC will also consider additional sanctions it may deem appropriate should the need arise.

To prevent a recurrence in the future, Kano Pillars management were ordered to within two weeks organise a workshop for their supporters on orderly behaviour to be supervised by the LMC.

In its notice to Kano Pillars, the LMC made special mention of the role of the Security officers, personal efforts of the Kano State FA Chairman, the Kano Pillars Chairman and club officials in containing the situation which otherwise might have been more serious.

Kano Pillars must communicate in writing to the LMC within 48 hours its acceptance to submit to this decision or elect to face a panel.
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