Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quintet gets provisional pardon on lengthy bans

Five players in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) have been given provisional pardon by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over suspensions arising from misconduct charges from last season.
The Premier League wrote to the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian FA to plead for clemency for the quintet of Son Hingir, John George, Blessing Okardi, Zango Umar and Iboro Akpakpan.
In a letter to the NPL, the federation’s committee decided to lift the bans on the players on provisional grounds until a decision on the matter is taken next week in Abuja.
“The Disciplinary Committee (of the NFF) would meet next week to take a definitive position on the players involved. However, in the interim, and based on your plea, these players – Son Hingir, John George, Okardi Blessing, Zango Umar and Iboro Akpakpan – have been pardoned provisionally pending the final decision(s) of the Disciplinary Committee. The affected players can feature for their respective clubs in the meantime,” part of the letter from the committee read.
The quartet of Okardi, Hingir, George and Umar were suspended for one year by the NFF Disciplinary Committee from the league after they assaulted centre referee, J. Akinwale from Oyo State, during a Week 21 game between Lobi Stars and Enyimba at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi in the 2009/2010 season.
Okardi has since joined Kwara United from Lobi Stars in the off-season but has not featured for his new side due to the one-year suspension that began on March 11, 2010 and initially due to end on March 11, 2011.
As for Akpakpan, a goalkeeper with Ocean Boys, he was charged and suspended for a year after assaulting Segun Atere of Kwara United during a Week 29 game last season.

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