Stadium violence: We could try being stricter with the punishments we prescribe

Good morning Guys,

Thanks for yesterday. The response from the backend was really inspiring. Thank you guys for being here daily. Some of you do more than just reading. You share. Some of Facebook others in WhatsApp groups. Thank you! May God give the help you need before the need even arises. Amen.

So yesterday, I saw several posts by the LMC, punishing and suspending several NPFL teams for having breached law and order in the course for their games. I did see Niger Tornadoes, Bendel Insurance and shockingly Plateau United (again). And if you could recall, Plateau United is on this infamous list again after being guilty in the early days of this season.

The fines of course varied from 1million Naira and the threat of points deduction and the like. And with this reoccurring almost every match day in this six week old season, can we honestly claim that this is an effective punitive approach to the issue of fan violence? I don’t think so.

Look, the problem is that teams have that violence card in their back pockets, ready to bring it out when things don’t go their way. The fear is, this is only match day 6, what would happen when the threat of relegation stares them in the face? The thought of it gives me the chill.

Why should violence be an option? It’s simple – these punishments are weak. I get it that the rule book must be followed in terms of how a team is punished but isn’t it clear that teams are not that scared anymore? They’ll resort to their barbaric acts knowing that all it will take is first some monetary fine, a suspended three points deduction and playing away from their home fans for three games.

Honestly, this is not working. And my biggest concern is for the life and safety of match officials who are caught in the cross fire of this stupidity by the fans. They are not super humans – they are mortals like you and such mob action can have more severe effects on them more than just blood streaming their faces.

Our League managers and owners need to think again about the effectiveness of this punishment and devise stronger stricter punitive consequences. We don’t have to wait till all 22 teams break the law before the hammer comes hard and heavy on them. How about every team learning from the punishment netted out on one team?

Tell a team they will get six points docked with any such violence and they will learn to protect match officials. Tell a team they will get banished for a whole season and perhaps it will get them to rethink. Tell a team they could get booted out of the league and I assure you, they will behave.

I believe we can make our stadiums safer but that will only happen when we are truly committed to making it happen.

That’s my pot of beans for you today.

Back tomorrow



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