The League Management Company (LMC) has handed Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, a N3m fine for fans’ assault on a sports journalist, Tobi Adepoju.
LMC also asked the club to pay him N500, 000.
It will be recalled that Tobi was attacked at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Ibadan on Wednesday, following the team’s 1-1 draw with Remo Stars in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match.
Police operatives had to wade in to rescue him from the irate fans.
Recounting the incident, Mr Adepoju said, “I think my own case was the fact that I wasn’t the only one there, I was with the LMC delegates, Atinuke Esan, a journalist as well, a lady, but absolutely, I was the main target for them, the management.
“I don’t have problems with them (3SC fans). I think they have personal issues with me based on my positive criticism of the club you know, I’m a fan of the club, a journalist, and a critic of the club. It is something that has been built on over time. I think Wednesday was just the best time to strike.
Mr Adepoju revealed he had received death threats before Wednesday but he did not think he was in any danger by covering the match.
“We were on the side pitch after the game, trying to get content, trying to get news. The atmosphere was very tense. The mob started from Shooting Stars’ curator and two of their backroom staff. It actually started from their backroom staff.
“The Chairman, the General Manager, was sitting a few metres away and the Media Officer was there. He did his best trying to stop them, not to touch me but the man couldn’t stop about seven of them.
“They chased me from the side pitch to where the video was captured, where the police were. I don’t know how to calculate the metres but I know that’s a long distance to run from the track or technical bench of the team to where the police were. It was really a crazy experience”, he lamented.
In its reaction to the incident, the LMC condemned the attack, describing it as “capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.
In the meantime, the club has been fined a total of N3m plus a N500,000 compensation to Mr. Adepoju for loss of valuables and medical bills and the stadium has been closed to fans for the remaining fixtures of the season, while a further breach will lead to their being directed to play outside the Southwest,” the LMC added in a statement on its Facebook page.
LMC claimed that 3SC breached Rule B13.52 and Rule B8.21 and Rule C1.1 of the LMC Rule Book.
“3SC also stands the risk of two points deduction to last for a probational period ending with the season while the Media Officer, Tosin Omojola, and Kits Manager, Mr. Majolagbe Kolawale have been expelled from all NPFL related activities for a minimum period of 12 months in the first instance”, it stated.