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Enyimba docked three points, fined N10m for disrupting game against Rangers

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The board of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has sanctioned Enyimba FC with forfeiture of three points and goals for refusing to conclude the match against Enugu Rangers on Sunday.

The NPFL matchday 35 fixture was abandoned in added time after Rangers were awarded a controversial penalty at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.

After 90 minutes, with the game tied goalless, the home team got the spot-kick seven minutes into added time following a foul that prevented its attacker from pouncing on a loose ball in the box.

The decision prompted protests from Enyimba players who confronted the match officials.

However, the incident took another dimension when fans invaded the pitch, resulting in Enyimba players walking off it.

It remains unclear which fans encroached on the pitch, but efforts to resume play proved abortive.

In a letter addressed to Enyimba on Monday, NPFL said the club’s action “goes against the principles of fair play, sportsmanship, and the league rules and is capable of bringing the game to disrepute”.

The team was also penalised N10 million for failing to ensure the proper conduct of its players, disrupting the NPFL live broadcast, and causing the disruption and discontinuation of the match.

Three Enyimba players — Eze Ekwutoziam, Chibuike Nwaiwu and Akanni Elijah — are under investigation for further sanctions.

“An order forfeiting 3 points and three goals in favour of your opponent refusing to allow the penalty awarded in favour of your opponents to be taken, thereby disrupting the match and bringing the game to disrepute,” the letter reads.

“An order for Enyimba to identify and produce for further investigation and appropriate sanctions, other players and officials complicit in the disruptive conducts (particularly against the match officials) that led to a discontinuation of the game, in addition to the following identified players; Eze Ekwutoziam (Jersey No.6), Chibuike Nwaiwu (Jersey No.27), and Akanni Elijah (Jersey No.10).”

Similarly, NPFL charged Rangers with “over-ticketing, which led to overcrowding” and failing to provide adequate security and crowd control measures during the match.

The team got a cumulative N5 million fine for all the breaches incurred.

Both clubs must respond to their penalties within the next 48 hours.

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Bayern Munich sign Portugal star Palhinha for €49M

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Bayern Munich on Thursday finally secured the signing of Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha from Fulham for a reported fee of 49 million euros ($53 million) after coming close to acquiring him last year.

The 28-year-old, who spent two years at Fulham after arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2022 for 22 million euros, signed a four year contract.

Bayern had been poised to sign Palhinha in 2023, the defensive midfielder had even posed in the club’s strip, but the deal fell through just before the transfer window closed when Fulham failed to find a replacement.

In a statement, Palhinha said it was “one of the happiest days of my life,” adding “this is a dream come true for me… I want to enjoy success with Bayern and win titles.”

Sporting director Max Eberl said the player was “highly sought after by Bayern even last summer –- and rightly so. It was important that we never lost touch”

Palhinha, who has scored twice in 31 international appearances, took part in Portugal’s Euro 2024 campaign which ended at the hands of France in the quarter finals.

His signing is Bayern’s third major arrival of the summer, as the club continues a summer rebuild after a first season without a trophy since 2012.

Forward Michael Olise and centre-back Hiroki Ito have already joined the club, alongside manager Vincent Kompany who was appointed coach at the end of last season.

Kompany will be tasked with returning Bayern to the top of the German football tree after their streak of 11 straight Bundesliga titles was broken last season.

Bayern were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid, while Bayer Leverkusen won the league and cup double under manager Xabi Alonso.

Kompany will have the added pressure the Champions League final is to be held at Bayern’s Allianz Arena next season.

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CAF fines Eto’o $200k over ambassadorship deal with betting company

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has sanctioned Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroon Football Association, for ethics violations.

In a statement on Thursday, CAF announced Eto’o was facing “charges of alleged manipulation of football matches and violating the principles of ethics and integrity.”

The continental football governing body added that “there is insufficient proof” to corroborate Eto’o’s involvement in match-fixing alongside Valentin Nkwain.

However, CAF ruled that the four-time African Footballer of the Year “seriously violated the principles of ethics, integrity and sportsmanship” by “signing a brand ambassador contract with the company 1XBET in exchange for remuneration”.

The statement said Eto’o breached “Article 2 paragraph 3 of the CAF Statutes,” which reads: “any person or organisation involved in football in Africa has to respect at all times and unreservedly the principles of ethics and fair play enacted by CAF, the principles of integrity and sportsmanship as well as the Statutes, regulations, decisions, and directives of CAF and FIFA.”

Eto’o was penalised with $200,000 fine for the violation.

The former Barcelona striker has been embroiled in controversy since he was elected president of Cameroon FA in 2021.

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Finidi appointed Rivers United technical manager — weeks after Super Eagles exit

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Finidi George, former Super Eagles head coach, has been unveiled as the new manager of Rivers United.

The club announced the arrival of the 52-year-old in a post on its X account on Wednesday.

Finidi accepted the new role a few weeks after resigning as head coach of the men’s national team.

The resignation came after managing only two competitive games as the Eagle coach following his appointment in April.

He led the team to a 1-1 home draw against South Africa in his first game and a 2-1 loss to the Benin Republic in the second game. Both matches were 2026 World Cup qualifiers. The latest string of performances condemned Nigeria to fifth in the qualification group, having previously drawn against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The uninspiring results stirred adverse reactions from Nigerians, particularly on social media.

John Enoh, minister of sports development, then summoned the NFF bosses over the losses to “give cause why there mustn’t be consequences for the disappointment caused both government and the generality of Nigerians”.

Following the backlash, NFF announced it would appoint a foreign technical adviser for the team.

Rivers United is the second Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) that Finidi will be managing. He led Enyimba to 2022/23 NPFL title.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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