HEARTLAND have been slammed with heavy fines totalling N4, 750,000 and an order to play three home matches behind closed door as well as suspended points deduction. The league body, LMC said the punishments were sequel to crowd incidence in the NPFL matchday 28 clash against oriental neighbours, FC IfeanyiUbah on Saturday at the Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri. Aside the club’s supporters chairman, Iyke Jacob was banned from all Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches for the rest of the 2015/16 season. The LMC also recommended to the Imo state FA and NFF to reconsider the role of the ISFA Security Committee chairman, Mr Teddy Isiadinso who also serves as a Match Commissioner for the NFF. The recommendation was based on the Match Commissioner’s report which cited Isiadinso as pledging to accept responsibility for any breach of the peace before, during and after the match. The Owerri-based club were slammed six count violations of the NPFL Framework and Rules by the LMC after reviewing reports and video evidence provided by the match commissioner and delegates to the match. Heartland was fined of N750,000.00 (Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) for failing to ensure restriction of access to restricted areas by unauthorised persons in the course of the match, in breach of Rule B13.52. The second count read, “you are in breach of Rule B13.52 of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, in that on Saturday, 23rd July 2016, after your Match Day 28 fixture – Heartland vs FC Ifeanyiubah, you failed to ensure adequate security and crowd control particularly in the manner in which match officials and members of the visiting team were exposed to aggression and crowd violence perpetrated by your supporters.” For this breach, the club was fined another N750, 000. On the third count of the supporters encroachment on to the field of play and throwing objects towards the field of play immediately after the match in breach of Rule B13.18, Heartland were fined N1,000,000.00 On the fourth count, the LMC charged Heartland for breach of Rule B6.23 of the Framework and Rules of the NPFL stating, “that on Saturday, 23rd July 2016, in the course of your Match Day 28 fixture – Heartland vs FC Ifeanyiubah, your supporters hindered the complete video-coverage of the match, particularly the post-match scenes.” The penalty for this offence read, “a fine of N1,000,000.00 and a two- point deduction for hindering the complete video-coverage of the match, in breach of Rule B6.23, provided that the execution of the two-point deduction shall be suspended subject to a probationary period of the remainder of the season”.
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