• Resolve to deploy addition security officers at match venues • To create volunteer stewards corps
• Ban unruly challenge of match officials by players
• Sustain review of match officials performance
A mid-season review of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2019/20 season was held on Tuesday February 18, 2020 at the LMC head office in Abuja with far reaching resolutions aimed at sustaining the progress that has been recorded and measures to be taken to prevent isolated cases of security breaches at match venues.
The meeting which was convened at the instance of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick had in attendance, Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of League Management Company (LMC), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, the NFF General Secretary and Alhaji Rabiu Sharu Inuwa, the Chairman of the NFF Referees Committee.
Others present at the meeting were Alhaji Tade Azeez, the President of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Barrister Isaac Danladi, the Chairman of NPFL Club Owners Association and Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer of the LMC.
NFF President in his opening remarks explained that the meeting was called to discuss the progress made so far in the NPFL and to explore possible strategies that can be adopted to sustain the progress and eliminate identified setbacks such as the unwarranted security breach that occurred in the Abia Derby and the breach of public order within katsina city after the derby match between Katsina Utd and Kano Pillars
He reiterated that “all parties must work together with their eyes firmly on the ball to ensure that such incidents do not occur again and we must keep our match venues safe at all times to provide fans a conducive environment to enjoy games”.
In his response after the NFF President opened the meeting, The LMC Chairman remarked that the on—going season can be described as the most competitive and successful given the results, performance of match officials and the overall conduct of fans.
Dikko said, “We have so far played 193 games this season with over 1,544,000 fans attending games so far. On fans behavior, there has been just one incident of breach of security on the pitch and that was the incident in Umuahia last Sunday. The other incidents in Lafia and Katsina were outside the pitch and after the successful conclusions of the game.
“Though no security breaches and threat to public order should be tolerated and associated with the beautiful game, it’s noted that all three incidents had to do with local rivalries between clubs that share geographical proximity and have had running supremacy claims by their fans.
“In Lafia, it was a North Central derby between Nasarawa United and Plateau United, Katsina was a Northwest derby between Katsina United and Kano Pillars while in Umuahia, we had the Abia derby between Abia Warriors and Enyimba International”, Dikko concluded.
He said as part of strategies to eliminate unsavory incidents during and after matches, the LMC has directed all clubs to notify Police Divisions within the match venue jurisdictions of their weekly home games and request a minimum of 100 Police officers for match security duties in addition to other security personal. This plan was adopted as one of the resolutions of the meeting and would have the clubs give timely notice to the Police Division and making a copy of such request available to the LMC.