The Punishment on Pillars and other stories

Good morning everyone,

It’s Saturday, the end of what has been a very interesting week.

This morning i just want to talk about the LMC’s sanctions on Kano Pillars following our midweek clash with them in Kano. The dust that it has generated has left me no options than to talk about it on this blog.

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The League bosses fined them 2.4 million Naira for the hurling objects into the pitch which stopped the game for some time warranting 8 additional minutes. Then there was the Enyimba official car which was damaged courtesy of the irate and angry Kano fans. The Enyimba driver was also injured and he is to be paid 250K while there would be 150K for the damage on Mr Aigbogun’s official car.

They also asked Pillars to organize a compulsory seminar for their fans to educate them on the acceptable behaviour and it will be monitored by the LMC. Before I go on, I’ll like you to read Malam Shehu Dikko’s interview with NAN. He explains how this differs from the Giwa incident.

The League Management Company (LMC), said on Friday that it would sanction Kano Pillars FC accordingly following the misconduct of its fans in a mid-week match against Enyimba Int’l FC of Aba.

Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the LMC told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the league management would take decisive action once it received the report of the match.

NAN reports that the rescheduled week 7 match saw Pillars’ fans throw some objects onto the pitch immediately Nzube Anaezemba equalised Rabiu Ali’s goal.

It took the intervention of the police and the President of the Nigeria Football Referees Association (NFRA), Tade Azeez, to control the surge of the crowd.

The situation however, led to an attack on Enyimba’s driver, who sustained injuries after he was hit with an object.

Dikko said “Of course, there is sanction for that and once the report comes in and we confirm the correct situation, relevant penalties as prescribed by the rule book will be applied.

“We will definitely act when we get the reports but from our premium art finding including confirmation from Enyimba, though security was breached, Enyimba or match officials were never attacked.

“Enyimba’s driver that got hurt was not in the stadium and he was the driver of the pilot car.

“He chose to go outside to bring his car inside the same time the fans were leaving and he was hit by stones or so.

“The big issue is that we had an unprecedented crowd for a midweek game and some of them messed up.

“Only the Enyimba’s driver was affected and it was outside the stadium, as both teams and officials were kept in the dressing rooms for safety until the stadium was evacuated,’’ Dikko said.

The LMC boss argued that the injury sustained by the driver might have emanated from the fans outside after the game.

He urged Nigerians to focus on the positive side of the game and not the negative side, noting that the fact that more than 40, 000 fans watched the encounter was unprecedented.

“Well, the game was great with good football and an unprecedented crowd for a midweek game and thus, we should try to push the positives while dealing with the negatives.

“Only the driver sustained injury and it was outside the stadium and the same driver was able to drive after the match to Kaduna, meaning that he was not as hurt as being peddled.

“Even, during the Manchester Utd versus Everton match in UK, there was trouble with the fans but it was dealt with while the game positives were pushed forward,’’ he added.

Dikko also said that the difference between Giwa’s case was that the match was not concluded while that of Pillars was concluded.

He further said, “Giwa issue got complicated as the match could not be completed and has to be abandoned.

“This is in spite of the fact that the match was stopped and restarted four times but the fans refused to allow the game to be completed.

“Once this happens, then a team must be banished for a minimum of three games.

“Also in Giwa match, the match officials were beaten at half time but they resolved to complete the game by coming out for the second half but it was impossible as the fans prevented their work.

“Once a match is abandoned, it must be completed at a neutral venue and that was why the match was brought to Abuja,” he said

There you have it. As much as we dislike the stories we have heard emanating from that game, truth is, I believe the LMC’s ruling is fair and calls for banishment are extreme. They can be said to be first time offenders in this case and they know when next it happens, they’re in trouble.

Yes they have some crazy fans and that is why the Kano Pillars Twitter handle released this, “CCTV cameras will soon be installed at different places of Sani Abacha Stadium to help prevent post-match violence. Anyone caught in the violence will be permanently banned from watching any of our games at the stadium”.

So I think it is absolutely wrong saying they needed fiercer punishment because it was Pillars. Already the LMC has said their eyes are on them and in fact on every other stadium in the League. There should be mutual respect for both teams. They are great team and they have achieved some historic feats also. There are bad eggs no doubt from both sides of the equation- theirs and ours. But this calls for education until we change this.

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I’ll also like to say one more thing. It may be related to this or it may not but on a grander scale of things, beyond just the fact that we are playing football and wanting our team to win, life is bigger than football and where a person is from. I for one am a Christian and I believe that beyond the colour of a person’s skin or where they are from, my Christian beliefs is that these are souls for who Jesus Christ died and my permitted response to them is that of love. That’s what my bible teaches.

God’s word has asked me to guard my heart with diligence so I don’t start breeding hatred for others. Whenever there is hate in your life, you’re reflecting a character of the devil. It doesn’t matter if the person in question hates you, it’s your own heart and your response that is more important. Jesus said, except your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees (who love only those who love them), you’re not going anywhere.

I’m done for this morning.

Back tomorrow.

‘EnyimbaEnyi

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