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Enyimba suffer huge setback in Premier League title defense

Reigning Nigeria Premier Football League Champions, Enyimba FC have suffered a huge setback in their title defense following a ruling by the NFF Disciplinary Committee.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Disciplinary Committee has upheld the outcome of the NPFL game between Enyimba FC and Doma United, confirming a goalless draw

The Committee’s decision followed a protest lodged by Doma United against the NPFL’s initial ruling on the match held on March 10, 2024.

In their findings, the Committee noted that the referee initially deemed the goal to be offside but reversed his decision after visiting the OB Van due to fears of retaliation.

The Committee’s verdict concluded that the referee’s actions violated FIFA/IFAB Laws of the game, specifically Law 5. They also criticized the referee for leaving the pitch to review footage in the OB Van, a practice not recognized by FIFA, CAF, NFF, or NPFL regulations.

As a result, the match’s outcome remained unchanged at 0-0 after the goal was disallowed. The NPFL’s decision declaring the match conclusive was also upheld.

Additionally, the Committee reprimanded the Match Commissioner for failing to fulfill his duties adequately.

The ruling emphasised that the decisions made do not affect any party’s right to appeal.

The Committee reached their decision as follows: “That the Referee erred to have changed a decision after a game had been restarted in contravention of the provisions of Law 5, FIFA/IFAB Laws of the game.

“That the Referee equally erred by leaving the pitch to go and view the replay of the relevant part of the match proceeding in the Outside Broadcasting Van (OB Van) to review his earlier decision. This is a practice unknown to FIFA, CAF, NFF and NPFL.

“That the result of the match at the point of the restart of the game after over-ruling the goal scored as offside is hereby upheld at (0-0).

“That the decision of the NPFL based on Rule B.13.55.2 of the NPFL Framework and Rules declaring the match conclusive is hereby upheld.

“The Committee equally upheld the NPFL decisions as provided under paragraphs a, b and c as contained in Form 16 (Summary Jurisdiction Notice) of 14th March 2024.

“The Match Commissioner is hereby reprimanded for not being totally alive to his responsibility.

“That the above decisions are without prejudice to the right of appeal.”

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