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Gateway FC banished to Benin over fans’ attack on referees

The Nigeria National League (NNL) has banished Gateway United of Abeokuta to Benin City, the capital of Edo State, for the rest of the season…

The Nigeria National League (NNL) has banished Gateway United of Abeokuta to Benin City, the capital of Edo State, for the rest of the season following their fans’ attack on referees.

Daily Trust reports that some supporters of Gateway FC on Saturday descended on the match officials during NNL matchday 18 against Ikorodu City.

The match played at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abeokuta, ended in a goalless draw.

As soon as the match ended, some aggrieved supporters of the club descended on the match officials accusing them of bias.

Despite the presence of security personnel, the irate fans physically assaulted the referees before they were apprehended and taken away by security personnel.

The Gateway FC in a statement signed by the Media officer, Moses Ojewunmi, described the act as “regrettable,” and disowned the perpetrators as “miscreants unknown to our club.”

“We condemn such behavior in the strongest terms, and dissociate our Club from such irresponsible and calculated behavior targeted to undermine our long standing values and culture of discipline on and off the pitch. We want to state it clearly that such characters are unknown to us and that we do have shared values and principles,” said Ojewunmi.

However, the NNL has ordered the club to move to Benin, Edo State for the rest of the season for violating the league’s security rules.

With the decision, Gateway would now host both Crown FC and Osun United at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

Apart from being banished to Benin, Gateway United were also fined N1m by the NNL, even as they are to pay N100,000 for the medical treatment of the battered referees.

Chief Operating Officer of NNL, Dr. Ayo Abdulrahaman in a statement further said the club must produce and prosecute the fans who attacked the referee or face further sanctions.

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