Enyimba International face the almost unprecedented penalty of 3 points deduction for fielding ineligible player against Niger Tornadoes at the weekend.
The People Elephant have overcome their early season sluggishness and have risen to the NPFL log after their 3-0 victory against Niger Tornadoes at the U.J. Esuene stadium in an NPFL Matchday 28 encounter. Ikechukwu Ibenegbu, Chinonso Okonkwo, and Stanley Dimba were on the scoresheet for the People’s Elephants.
After the game, Niger Tornadoes filed a protest report to organizers of the league, League Management Company. In which they cited Enyimba midfielder and goalscorer Ikechukwu Ibenegbu was ineligible for the clash due to suspension. Ibenegbu had picked up his fifth booking on matchday 27 against Akwa United which would have amounted to him missing one match. Niger Tornadoes in their protest later requested for Justice from the LMC.
According to Rule C.5 of the NPFL Framework and Rules 2016-2017:
“If it is established that a team intentionally featured a player who had earlier received five (5) yellow cards before the match in question, the affected team will lose 3 points 3 goals to its opponent”.
It was also revealed that the LMC did send a letter notifying Enyimba of Ibenegbu’s suspension.
If found guilty Enyimba will forfeit 3 points and 3 goals to Niger Tornadoes.
The People’s Elephants are third on the log with 44 points from 28 matches with a goal difference of +8. A three points deduction if found guilty will mean Enyimba drop to eight places with 41 points and a +5 goals difference.
Niger Tornadoes, on the other hand, stand to benefit from any likely punishment Enyimba will face. They are eighth on the log with 40 points. An additional three points will see Tornadoes prop up to the fifth position.