Pillars have been fined N7.5 million for breaching COVID-19 rules
Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa, has expressed dissatisfaction over crowd troubles in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The NPFL match-day 27 match between Kano Pillars and Akwa United was disrupted at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, where fans of both clubs encroached on the pitch.
In a long post on his Instagram page on Monday, the 28-year-old Super Eagles captain urged fans to conduct themselves well during games and make the league attractive to players who would like to return from Europe and add value to the domestic league.
According to Musa, "It is disheartening to write this but unfortunately, it has to be said. In a bid to be patriotic or represent our home country, some of us decided to play for the league with pleasure.
"In as much as I commend officials who handle games in the league across Nigeria, it is imperative to add that a lot still needs to be done to keep our football growing to the heights it deserves.
"There are a lot of areas that need to be worked on so that players can be at their optimal best and play football as it should be in accordance with the laws of the game where fair play is enshrined by all and sundry.
"It is time every stakeholder is involved and with pure intent, to keep raising the level of the game. That is the mindset and the vision I had when I decided to come back home and play.
"Despite what I have seen, I am encouraged to believe that this is achievable if we put our minds to it. There are a lot of players like me who want to come back home and play in the league and I am sure they are watching as everything unfolds with rapt attention.
"All I, and by extension other players want to do is play football and contribute our quota to the growth of the sport at home. If this is to be achieved, then the needful has to be done.
"I would like to state categorically that we are patriotic and will relish to come back and contribute our quota but the needful has to be done by all parties to improve the competency and fairness of the management of the game by those saddled with the responsibility to do so. The time for action is now. To the fans, I want to implore you to obey the law at all times especially in these dire times we are occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is my wish to play in front of the fans but we have to play within the laws that are set by the Nigeria Football Federation and the League Management Company. That is how you support your team. Please do not take the laws into your hands. Let us learn to obey the authorities. Stay at home and cheer your team all the time until when the authorities feel it is safe for you to return to the stadiums."
Kano Pillars fined
Meanwhile, the League Management Company (LMC), the NPFL administrators have fined Pillars N5 million for breaching the COVID-19 protocol and banished them to another venue.
The charge was for breaching the NPFL Framework and Rules following the infraction in their match-day 27 fixture versus Akwa United at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Sunday.
The Kano-based club have been charged for breaching the COVID-19 Protocol by admitting and/or permitting spectators and supporters into the venue.
Pillars are also charged after their supporters encroached on the field of play, thereby disrupting the match.
The club was further charged for failing to provide adequate security leading to failure in crowd control and restriction of access by unauthorised persons to restricted areas.
In line with The Nigeria Football Federation directives, Kano Pillars was fined N5 million for breaching the COVID-19 Protocol.
A fine of N2.5 million is also imposed on Kano Pillars for encroachment by their supporters, which led to a discontinuation of the match.
There is also an imposed sanction of a deduction of three points, which shall be suspended for the duration of the remainder of the season, subject to good conduct.
The club also face a 'venue sanction' of being banned from their Kaduna home ground and subsequently moved to another venue if there is a recurring event.
Kano Pillars have been directed to submit a revised security plan within seven days and ensure they comply strictly with COVID-19 protocol. All these are subject to approval by the LMC.
The club however have 48 hours from the date of notice to appeal these sanctions.