NFF puts off replay of Imo State Federation Cup tie between Heartland and Police Machine

The football body says the game should not be played until an appeal on the match is heard

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has stopped the replay of the botched 2012 Imo State Federation Cup quarter final match between Heartland of and the Police Machine team that was scheduled for Friday.                            

 The NFF in a letter to the Imo FA stated that the Police Machine team had appealed the verdict of the state football ruling body which had ordered a replay of the encounter. The Imo FA had thrown out the appeal from both Heartland and Police Machine for want of evidence.

The Imo FA Appeals Committee however reduced the money sanction imposed on the two teams. Heartland who were originally fined N250,000 will now pay N50,000 while Tonnex Chukwu who was alleged to have incited supporters of the Naze Millionaires to halt the match after the Police Machine team shot into the lead got his fine reduced to N20,000. Imo State FA had fixed last Friday for the replay but the tie could not hold because the NFF wrote a letter asking Imo FA to discontinue the proposed replay until the football house considers the appeal sent by the Police Machine team. The Secretary of the Imo FA, Benji Agu informed that modalities meant for the replay of the botched match were put into motion until they got the directive from the NFF to halt it until the appeal from Police Machine is considered.

"The match could not hold because the NFF sent a letter to us that we should stop it until the appeal submitted by the Police Machine team is heard. Everything concerning the two teams is suspended for now until we get further clarification from the NFF," Agu said.                                   

Coordinator of the Police Machine team, DSP Kefas Go'ar told that his team will follow the case to its logical conclusion but averred that Police Machine team’s decision to abide by the ruling of the glass house.            

"I told you we were going to appeal the ruling of the Imo FA to the NFF and that we have done. We already made it clear that we won the match because the video evidence is there that the centre referee ended the match.

"The decision by the NFF to ask the Imo FA to halt the replay is a welcome development because we already said we are not replaying the game because we defeated Heartland after they decided to walk out on the match," Go'ar added. The state finals of the Federation Cup are scheduled to be played this weekend.