By Abiodun Adewale.
Remo Stars hope of making the top-three in the abridged 2022/23 Nigeria Professional Football League is alive again after the NFF disciplinary committee reversed the order that saw them lose three points and three goals over an alleged assault on match officials during their game against Gombe United, Saturday PUNCH reports.
Similarly, Wikki Tourists relegation battle was also strengthened by the committee which exonerated them from assaulting match officials during their game against Bayelsa United.
Few days after its inauguration, the committee sat on three cases involving Remo Stars, Wikki Tourists and Bayelsa United – and while former two were exonerated, Bayelsa United’s three-point deduction for a similar offence in their game against Doma United on match-day five was upheld by the committee.
In Remo Stars case, the committee found out that there was no assault on the match referee while it also affirmed there was adequate security at the match venue.
The committee however upheld the ban and fine on Remo Stars general manager, Ekene Adams for gaining access into an unauthorized area.
“The order deducting three points and three goals from the accumulated points/goals of Remo Stars FC for the assault of a match official is hereby set aside.
“An order banning Mr. Ekene Abubakar Adams from all NPFL related activities for the rest of the season is hereby affirmed,” the statement read in part.
From the evidences presented by Wikki Tourists and reports of mach officials, the committee also affirmed that there was adequate security at the match venue, but maintained the closure of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium to fans for throwing objects onto the pitch.
“The committee affirms the fine of N500,000 only imposed on Wikki Tourists FC for throwing of stones and objects into the field of play during the course of the match between Wikki Tourists FC vs. Bayelsa United FC.
“The order deducting three points and three goals from the accumulated points/goals of Wikki Tourists FC for assault on match officials is hereby set aside for want of evidence and further confirmation via (phone calls) by the match commissioner and the centre referee wherein they stated and confirmed to the committee that there was no assault on any match official as stated in their match reports.”
Bayelsa United’s behind-closed door order was reversed, but their evidences were not enough to see their three-point deduction restored as the committee upheld the IMC’s summary jurisdiction.