The Nigeria Hockey Federation (NHF) said yesterday that it will henceforth wield its big axe over any state or player who is caught cheating at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos.
NHF's Technical Director, Walter Imoedemhe, gave the warning during an interview in Lagos. It will be recalled that a protest ensued on Saturday between the Team Lagos female hockey team and their Ondo counterparts over the use of ineligible players.
The Ondo players, Bamidele Bamitale and Linda Nwafor were discovered to have altered their accreditation cards by using pictures of other persons other than theirs.
Imoedemhe noted that such was a serious offence which the NHF would no longer tolerate. "It is disheartening for states to cheat in a bid to win medals, they are all here to compete and they should all compete favourably.
"The NHF will no longer condone this kind of cheating and we are going to really go tough on any state found culpable of such offence, so the states are hereby warned," he said.
The technical director said that the HFN jury, after a thorough investigation, decided to ban the two culprits from taking part in the sports festival.
He said that the match would be awarded to Team Lagos with three points and three goals, adding that Ondo would also pay Lagos a match disruption fee of N10, 000.
Imoedemhe said that another protest of ineligible players was also filed by the Team Rivers male hockey team against Team Ekiti on Sunday, noting that the NHF jury would give a verdict soon.
In the men's matches played on Sunday, Team Niger defeated Team Borno 2-0, while Lagos drew 0-0 with Nasarawa.
The match between Ekiti and Kaduna also went into penalty shoot-out that ended 4-3 in favour of Kaduna. Gombe also defeated Kebbi 2-1.
The hockey matches at the Games will enter its quarter-finals stage today.