The Imo State Football Association (FA) has imposed a five-match ban on a staff of Heartland Football Club of Owerri, Osita Udemba.
The Secretary of Imo FA, Godfrey Ndudu, in a statement issued in Owerri on Thursday, said Udemba was banned over what it considered a conduct capable of inciting fans against match officials.
“Udemba openly challenged the decision of the match referee during a match between Heartland FC and Adamawa United FC of Yola during a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) week 20 match at the Okigwe Township Stadium on Sunday.
“He also attacked the FA Chief Security Officer, Teddy Isiadinso who tried to call him to order.’’
The FA secretary explained that the decision was taken during the association’s board meeting held in Owerri on the issue.
According to him, the FA acted on the existing rule governing football in Nigeria which prescribed such ban on people who went contrary to match rules.
He stressed that Imo FA would not stand by and eatch Heartland FC being sanctioned by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) or the League Management Company (LMC) because of “the action of uninformed people,’’ adding; “The decision will serve as a deterrent to other mischief-makers.’’
The Imo FA Secretary however, advised football lovers in the state to always be of good conduct during and after Heartland FC matches.