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Rangers International FC heads to 2023/2024 NPFL Match Day 36 as leaders after securing 3 points off Enyimba

Posted : 11 June 2024

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Rangers International FC of Enugu will now travel to Ibadan to meet an ambitious Shooting Stars SC as clear leaders of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) following the decision of the league body to award them three points from the abandoned Match Day 35 Oriental Derby against Enyimba International FC.

Recall that the much-touted league match ended in chaos after the defending champions, the Peoples Elephant, contested the referee's decision to award a penalty to the home team, the Flying Antelopes.

In the ensuing melee, the match was ultimately abandoned due to a pitch invasion by the spectators.

However, the league body has issued disciplinary measures against both teams, with points awarded and hefty fines for infractions.

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), organizers of the top flight league in the country, in its report, awarded three points and three goals to the Flying Antelopes, Rangers International FC, in the disrupted Match Day 35 encounter against their oriental rivals, Enyimba International FC of Aba. Enyimba was fined a total of N10M for bringing the game into disrepute, while Rangers received a N5M fine for over-ticketing.

The NPFL found the defending league champions in breach of its five rules governing the game and subsequently fined them a combined sum of N10,000,000.00, awarding three goals and three points to Rangers, who were also found to have breached four frameworks and rules of the competition concerning over-ticketing, inadequate security, and lack of effective crowd control.

Both teams have 48 hours to accept the summary jurisdiction and sanctions or elect to be dealt with by a disciplinary panel.

The Peoples Elephant were also ordered to produce three of their players: Eze Ekwutoziam, Chibuike Nwaiwu, and Akanni Elijah for further investigation and appropriate sanctions for their involvement in disrupting the highly competitive match watched by a capacity crowd inside Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Recall that players and officials of the Aba giants refused to continue the explosive match after the referee rightly awarded a penalty kick to Rangers following a professional foul committed inside the box just a few minutes before the end of the encounter, while their recognized supporters broke barriers to invade the pitch, throwing dangerous objects.

With this decision, Rangers maintain their position at the top of the twenty-team log with 64 points from 35 matches and a healthy +21 goal differential as they head to Ibadan for a Match Day 36 fixture against 3SC at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan, Oyo State, slated for Wednesday, June 12, 2024, with kickoff fixed for 5:30 pm.

The match will be broadcast live on the official NPFL broadcaster, StarTimes.

Against the Oluyole Warriors for NPFL Match Day 36, it will be another titanic battle between two of the oldest traditional clubs in Nigeria, with their rivalry dating back to the early '70s.

The Oluyole Warriors have won the league five times, while Rangers International FC have won the league seven times: in 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, and 2016.

Attention will now shift to the ancient city of Ibadan at the Lekan Salami Stadium, as both Shooting Stars and Rangers boast passionate fan bases, which might result in another massive turnout at the stadium.

A positive result in Ibadan for the Flying Antelopes would create an unassailable gap to be crowned champions of the 2023/2024 league season.

For the continental slot-chasing Shooting Stars, who have 57 points and an impressive home record (14 wins), they will be looking to capitalize on their home advantage and climb further up the table.

However, Shooting Stars of Ibadan have a poor record against southeastern clubs this season, with only one win in seven matches (one draw, five losses).

Notably, Rangers secured a 2-0 victory over Shooting Stars in their first meeting this season.

Wednesday, being a public holiday, will see football fans eager to watch the electrifying battle between the two oldest traditional clubs.

Head to Head:

From 2015, Shooting Stars and Enugu Rangers have competed in 9 games, among which there were 2 wins for Shooting Stars and 5 draws.

- Enugu Rangers - Shooting Stars (28.12.2023) 2:0
- Enugu Rangers - Shooting Stars (02.07.2022) 2:2
- Shooting Stars - Enugu Rangers (02.03.2022) 1:1
- Enugu Rangers - Shooting Stars (09.07.2017) 1:1
- Shooting Stars - Enugu Rangers (22.03.2017) 1:0
- Shooting Stars - Enugu Rangers (10.09.2016) 2:1
- Enugu Rangers - Shooting Stars (08.05.2016) 1:1
- Enugu Rangers - Shooting Stars (13.09.2015) 2:1
- Shooting Stars - Enugu Rangers (17.05.2015) 1:1


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