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Nigerian Football

IMC slams three points and goals deduction on Wikki Tourists 

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Wikki Tourists became the third club in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) 2022/23 season to face points deduction for violent conduct of fans in the course of a fixture following a ruling by the league body on Tuesday.

In a Summary Jurisdiction Notice signed by Davidson Owumi the Head of Operations of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) the club faced a monetary fine totalling ₦2.5m, three points and three goals deduction and closure of their home stadium to fans for the rest of the season.

This followed a review of the findings of the official reports for the MatchDay 13 fixture between Wikki Tourists and Bayelsa United on April 9, 2023.

Wikki Tourists was found in breach of Rule B8.21, Rule C11, B13.52 and B13.18 of the NPFL Framework and Rules.

For breach of Rule B8.21, the club was fined ₦1m for failing to provide adequate security for the match officials before, during, and after the match which resulted in the assault of the match officials.

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In a second charge for breach of Rule C11, Wikki Tourists was ordered to be deducted three points and three goals for assault on Match Officials by the fans.

In the third finding for breach of Rule B13.18, the club was fined ₦500,000 for failure to provide adequate security and implement effective crowd control resulting in the fans throwing objects on to the field of play, targeting Match Officials and disrupting play.

Wikki was also ordered to make a compensatory payment totaling ₦1m to the four Match Officials at ₦250,000 for each.

Wikki Tourists are required to within 48 hours and in accordance with Rule C26, communicate in writing to the IMC, submitting to the ruling or electing to be dealt with by a disciplinary Panel.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigerian Football

Osimhen’s outburst was a moment of madness, says Amaju

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Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President and a  FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has expressed shock at last month’s outburst by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Osimhen against Finidi George.

“It is very unfortunate”, Amaju Pinnick remarked on an Arise Television programme. The former NFF president said he had put a call to Osimhen who was very remorseful while the telephone conversation lasted.

  “I told him he has to apologise, and I am sure he will if he has not yet done so.” Amaju remarked that he could not comprehend what went wrong as Osimhen was the most cool-headed player in the national team.

He went on to remark that Finidi George was not a personality to be disregarded like that. He has won virtually every honour available during his playing days and was a member of the Super Eagles at their peak when Nigeria ranked fifth in the world.

“I believe players should learn to respect their coaches”, said the former NFF boss.

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Nigerian Football

I prefer a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, says Amaju

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Nigeria’s FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has told the world that he has always been an advocate of foreign coaches for the Super Eagles. He spoke on Arise Television while fielding questions with Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo-Ese. 

His reason for being averse to indigenous  coaches stemmed from lack of respect for them by the players.

“Yes, the Nigerian coaches have the requisite knowledge and the technical ability, but modern football is beyond that in managing players.

“Will the national team players respect the coach? The sad thing is that they don’t”, said Amaju Pinnick.

 He however revealed that he supported the appointment of Finidi George owing to the circumstances that the NFF found itself after the exit of Jose Peseiro.

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 The NFF, he revealed, had no money to hire a foreign coach. The body therefore went for the most available option, Finidi to ensure a smooth transition.

 “Finidi was part of the coaching crew of Peseiro and it was therefore logical to ask him to continue.

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Nigerian Football

NFF to train referees on VAR

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Application of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)  may soon be introduced into Nigeria’s domestic football competitions.

This is deduced from the statement of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau while addressing the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Premier League.

He also disclosed plans by the federation to train Nigerian referees on the application Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Gusau revealed that  NFF had already secured the communication gadget that the referees will use during matches.

“We have to train the personnel that will manage the VAR now. We have selected some of the referees that we are to start training.

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It is not a training of one day, one month or two months; it is a training that will take a little bit of time. After the training they have to go on practical training on the VAR system by going out while some matches are ongoing to see how they can manage it. But when we are sure we have the personnel that can manage it in the next one or two years, we will start to see how we can use VAR in our system,” Gusau said.

He also said that the federation intends to make the league attractive by discouraging Nigerian players from joining other lesser glamourous African clubs without established football pedigree.

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