By Solomon Odeniyi
THE Omoluabi Giants, Osun United have expressed confidence that the Nigeria National League would overturn some of the punishments slammed on the team on Tuesday.
Osun United were banished to Ilorin for their NNL fixtures and fined N300,000 by the league organisers after the club flouted COVID – 19 protocols, sold tickets on match day and seized the cable of the visiting team’s video crew, among other offences on their match-day four tie against Vandrezzer FC on March 6 at the Osogbo Township Stadium.
Osun United had in its appeal against the NNL verdicts defended some of the allegations against the team; while also indicting the visiting team for also contributing to the problem.
The copy of the appeal, which OSUN DEFENDER sighted, reads in part: “The decision to cancel the match/result of the match and an order of replay is not worth it. This decision should be reviewed, reconsidered and overruled as it was not contained in the COVID-19 circular sent to all teams in NNL and NPFL.
“Also, in the rules governing NNL, Osun United or FA never moved closer to what can make a match to be cancelled for the following reasons: the match was not inconclusive, the two goals scored by Osun United were good goals which could be seen in the videos, Vandrezzer players and officials did not walk out on the pitch as they accepted the decision of referee, Osun United did not in any way influence any of the officials who coordinated the match, including the Match Commissioner.
“As for the damaged equipment, Vandrezzer were being economical with the truth as there was no video evidence showing any Osun United supporter or fan cutting the cable or destroying their camera. Here are some few facts: Vandrezzer came from Lagos with about seven fully kitted Mobile Police officers, with guns. What were the jobs of these officers during the match after Osun FA had provided enough security? Were they not supposed to be monitoring their gadgets? Where were they when the math was going on? Who authorized them to be taking armed security agents to the venue of their away matches? Was there any circular or memo to this effect written to the NNL?
“Vandrezzer came to Osogbo with seven cameras, together with chest cameras which were all in use. They could have captured the way one of their cameras was seized or how their cameraman was molested. This lie by Vandrezzer is too far from the truth.
“If Osun United were punished for allegedly harassing the referee, why was Vandrezzer spared after the video evidence showed how players and officials of the team harassed, intimidated and nearly beat the referee up after the final whistle? What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Can we say their own harassment is justified under the rule of NNL or is this deliberate attempt to punish Osun United and overlook the many errors of Vandrezzer?
“We urge the NNL, NFF and other sister football bodies to investigate this, as this was the root cause of the many crowd who were not allowed to enter until a few minutes to the end of the game when the gate was open for a few fans in the stadium to go out.”
In an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, the team Media Officer, Tajudeen Amodu, said the team would appear before the disciplinary next Tuesday, restating confidence that the team would be given soft landing on some of the punishments against them.
He said: “We are confident that some of the verdicts shall be overturned. We have forwarded our letter of appeal to the Disciplinary Committee and we shall appear before them on Tuesday next week.”