The League Management Company (LMC) on Friday expelled Giwa Football Club from the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) “for multiple infractions of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL”.
A statement released by Harry Iwuala, the organisation’s Head of Special projects, said the punishment was particularly for the violation of article B13.28 by the Jos-based club.
“The article prescribes expulsion from the league for any club which fails to honour three matches cumulatively within a season with no acceptable reason to the LMC,” it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Giwa FC is owned by Chris Giwa who is locked in a leadership tussle with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board.
However, the club got sanctioned by the LMC after its fans were found to have disrupted its match with Rangers International FC of Enugu in Jos last month.
It then refused to appear for the match’s re-arranged remainder in Abuja, and three other matches at the Ilorin ground the LMC had ordered it to for its home matches.
The LMC, in addition to ordering a forfeiture of all funds due to Giwa FC from the LMC, also invoked Rule B13.66 to make pronouncements protecting the club’s players.
NAN reports that this grants them the waiver to terminate their contracts with the club for “just cause” or “sporting just cause”.
It also releases them for contracts with other clubs during the ongoing season.
The Summary Jurisdiction notice states thus:
“Pursuant to Rule B13.66 of the League’s Rules and without prejudice to the agreed written terms of their respective player contracts, nothing shall preclude players hitherto registered by Giwa FC from the unilateral termination of contracts for ‘just cause’ or ‘sporting just cause’ as the case may be.”
It also does not preclude them from being contracted to and registered by other clubs.
The LMC said it would further review the matter as it relates to the players and their contracts.
“This is with a view to setting up a social safety net to mitigate any consequential hardship the matter of registered players and officials currently contracted to Giwa FC – particularly those who may have played at least 50 per cent of its league matches in the current season and whose player contracts and potential earnings may have been brought to jeopardy on account of this decision”.
The LMC also ruled that clubs which have already played against Giwa FC before Match Day 19 would have their match day expenses refunded.
“The refunds will be from the funds seized from accruals of Giwa FC which is with the LMC,” it said.
NAN recalls that Giwa FC had earlier been charged for breach of Rules B13.25 and B13.28 by the LMC, which in a Summary Jurisdiction notice imposed two sanctions on it.
This was for a breach of Rule B13.25 for failing to honour the match against Enyimba International FC of Aba in Ilorin on Wednesday, and expulsion for breach of Rule B13.28.
The LMC had ruled that “for failing to honour the fixture obligation without any acceptable reason, in breach of Rule B13.25, Giwa FC shall pay a fine of N250,000”.
This was the sum of expenses, including stadium hire, security and other logistics incurred in respect of the match.
“Further to paragraph (a) above, Giwa FC shall forfeit to Enyimba FC the three points as well as three goals arising from the match. And, for failing to honour three matches cumulatively within the league season and without any acceptable reason, Giwa FC is expelled from the NPFL with immediate effect. All matches involving Giwa FC, whether played or unplayed as well as the points arising or accruing there from are hereby cancelled”.
In the summary jurisdiction notice issued Giwa FC after the failure to honour the Match Day 16 fixture against Akwa United, the LMC detailed the provisions of the rules.
Photo Credit: NAN PHOTO