Nigeria League bans Akwa United from Uyo, Lobi stars too

Lobi stars will play all their remaining matches behind closed doors.

The management of the Nigeria Professional Football League has sanctioned two clubs over the attack on referees during matches in their homes.

The League Management Company, LMC, sanctioned Akwa United football club of Uyo and Lobi Stars football club of Makurdi over the actions of their fans who beat up match officials.

During last week’s match in Uyo between Warrior Wolves and Akwa United, the referee was beaten by the angry home fans of Akwa United; while during Lobi Stars and Enyimba match in Makurdi, referees were beaten by home fans of Lobi Stars.

Confirming the sanctions, the chief coordinating officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, said that “judgement has been given; Akwa United will play all their matches in Onitsha and will remain there till the end of the season, they have about 10matches to play there.”

“Warri Wolves has been awarded 3 points.

“Akwa United will pay each referee that was beaten an amount of N200, 000.”

Mr. Abubakar said the affected referees have been given the permission to sue Akwa United to court for the harassment, “because you can’t just beat up someone because they came to your house to play a match, although these are preliminary decisions.”

“Things are trying to get out of hand and we are here to check it,” he said.

While commenting on the punishment meted out to Lobi Stars, Mr. Abubakar said “Lobi stars are to play their matches without their fans till the end of the season because their fans too beat up the referee when they played against Enyimba last week.”

The League Management Company has promised to punish any club whose fans or players harass officials or violate match rules; while the sports minister has said that he’s working with the anti-corruption agencies to deal with match fixers.

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