A few days after the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) issued a practice directive to clubs on dress codes for the Technical Crew and Players, Katsina United was found to have flouted the code during their Matchday 11 fixture in Lagos against Sporting Lagos.
A Katsina United player wore a jersey that was inappropriately numbered, and the NPFL has not only sanctioned the club but is also reporting the Match Officials to the NFF for dereliction of duty in allowing the player to come into the game on Sunday.
Commenting on the breaches and the sanctions, Davidson Owumi, the Chief Operating Officer of the NPFL, noted that the regulatory role of the body was to identify, investigate acts that may undermine the integrity of the NPFL, and impose appropriate sanctions based on the provisions of the Framework and Rules.
"Our rules have sufficiently made provisions to keep away conducts that are inimical to the overall best interest of the clubs, their players, and fans," Owumi remarked.
"While we cannot stop any club or individual from certain behaviors, we definitely would not condone such misconduct and would always apply sanctions to serve as deterrence," he added.
Owumi is particularly peeved at the case of Katsina United, which he noted has occurred in just over a week when the NPFL issued a practice directive on dress codes for managers and players, which was shared with Match Commissioners and Referees.
Katsina United, Gombe United, and Niger Tornadoes are three clubs that came under sanctions in the most recent tranche of regulatory enforcement announced by the NPFL on Monday after investigations into reported breaches of the NPFL Framework and Rules.
Katsina United was found in breach of Rule B9.7 for the inappropriate display of the surname of Player, Ibrahim Yahay, with jersey No. 27.
The club, in a second charge, was found to have breached Rule C9 by failing to ensure the proper conduct of its officials, which resulted in the Kit Manager of the club attempting to harass Assistant Referee 1.
For the cited breaches, Katsina United has been ordered to pay ₦1 million for the inappropriate display of the player's name and number, while the Kit Manager, Masudu Lawal, received a one-year ban from all NPFL activities for improper conduct.
In the aftermath of fans' unruly conduct in another Matchday 11 fixture, Gombe United was fined a total of ₦7 million and a one-match stadium ban for fans for breaches ranging from disruption of the match by fans throwing objects onto the field of play, to disruption of the live broadcast of the match, and failure to provide adequate and effective security.
In a case arising from Matchday 10 between Niger Tornadoes and Akwa United, the former was charged with breach of Rule B8.21, C9, and C1.1, for which it was fined a total of ₦3.250 million, including compensatory payment to the Center Referee.
The sanctions include a fine of ₦1 million for failure to provide adequate and effective security for Match Officials. Another fine of ₦1 million for failure to ensure the proper conduct of its officials (Stewards/Security Personnel). There was a third fine of ₦1 million for misconduct and a ₦250,000 compensatory payment to Referee (Ahmad Rabiu from Kano State Referees Council) for losses resulting from the harassment.
The Ahmadu Bello Stadium home ground of Niger Tornadoes has been ordered closed to fans for the next three home fixtures of the club.
All three clubs are free to submit to the decisions or elect to appear before a disciplinary commission for a review. They must communicate this in writing to the NPFL Legal and Compliance Unit within 48 hours.