The chairman of FC IfeanyiUbah, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has apologised to the League Management Company (LMC) and all Nigerians over the incident that led to his 10-match ban and fine from the Nigerian Professional Football League.
Apart from the ban, the club proprietor was equally fined N2.5m by the league body for assaulting Heartland FC of Owerri goalkeeper, Ebele Obi.
In a letter submitted to the summary jurisdiction of the LMC, Ubah pledged not to appeal the decision and offered an unconditional apology to the LMC, FC IfeanyiUbah fans and the football community for his actions.
While explaining that his actions were due to his overriding passion for the NPFL and its development, he further explained in the letter that he was moved to intervene by the actions of Heartland players towards the referee after the match with FC IfeanyiUbah in Nnewi, an action which he really regrets.
“May I conclude by rendering my unconditional apology to my numerous fans nationwide and in Diaspora for the incident and outcome. To the football family and the LMC, I promise to uphold the tenets of the game while promising to remain a good ambassador of the sport.
“To those who feel disappointed by the outcome, I plead that you find a place in your hearts to forgive me. With a deep sense of humility, I ask Nigerians for their support and encouragement as I wish to state categorically that this will never repeat itself again as dire lessons have been learnt”, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah wrote in the letter addressed the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Shehu Dikko.
The club, FC IfeanyiUbah also wrote separately to accept the N500, 000 fine imposed on it for failure to ensure adequate security immediately after the Match Day 8 fixture in Nnewi against Heartland.
Meanwhile, with the acceptance by all four clubs and individuals of the decisions contained in the recent LMC Summary Jurisdiction notices; the league body has announced a closure of all these case treated.
Announcing the receipt of the acceptance notices and apologies from all concerned parties, Dikko remarked that the sanctions were not meant to be punitive but correctional and “to uphold the sanctity of the rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and to assure all stakeholders of fairness in the application of all laid down regulations.”
The LMC chairman further stated that with the closure of all the cases, he hopes “the issues will be put behind us”, urging all stakeholders to redirected their focus to the beautiful sides of the NPFL games even as the lessons will remain with us to avert future occurrence from any quarter.
Heartland FC, Owerri, FC IfeanyiUbah, Plateau United and Sunshine Stars of Akure were the clubs sanctioned by the LMC for various infractions of the NPFL rulebook ranging from failure to control players and allowing access to unauthorised areas and security breaches at match venue leading to acts capable of bringing the league to disrepute.