The League Management Company (LMC) on Wednesday ordered an indefinite closure of the Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi, the home ground of Wikki Tourists. It also directed the club to play their home fixtures behind closed doors at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna.
The orders followed the conclusion of investigations of the aftermath of the Matchday 19 fixture between Wikki Tourists and Enyimba in Bauchi. The match ended goalless.
In a Summary Jurisdiction notice issued Wikki Tourists, the LMC ruled that home games of the Bauchi team would be played in Kaduna for an indefinite period until a ‘proper suitable security plan is presented to the LMC for approval’.
Other sanctions levied on the club included a suspended three-point deduction which would last till the end of the season. That places a burden of good conduct on the club, failing which the points’ deduction would be activated.
Wikki Tourists were to also defray any certified medical bills and damages incurred by Enyimba as a result of the fracas that ensued after the match.
For additional breaches, the club was fined a total of Four N4 million, which included N1 million each for failure to provide adequate security, failure to ensure restriction of access to unauthorized persons to restricted areas and for throwing objects unto the playing field as well as payment of N250,000 compensation to each to the four match officials for assaults.
Wikki were charged for breaches of Rule B13.52 of the Frameworks and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League for failure to provide adequate security and ensure restriction of access to unauthorised persons to restricted areas, which resulted in the harassment and intimidation of match officials and players of the visiting team.
Wikki Tourists were also charged for being in breach of Rule B13.18 in that some of the supporters encroached on the field of play at the end of the match.
In the third charge, the club were found to have breached Rule B8.21 for failing to provide adequate security for Match Officials after the match, which resulted in their harassment at the stadium.
On count four, the LMC charged Wikki Tourists for breach of Rule C1 for assault of the match officials by their fans, capable of bringing the league to disrepute which also resulted in a breach of previous warning issued the club by the LMC after the Matchday 11 fixture against Rangers.
In accordance with Rule C26, Wikki Tourists are required, within 48 hours of the date of the notice, to either submit to the summary jurisdiction and the sanctions or elect to be dealt with by a disciplinary panel.