We must ensure proper crowd control - LMC tasks NPFL clubs

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Fans at NPFL match between MFM and El Kanemi Warriors 1032016
The league organisers have warned clubs in the elite division against poor handling of fans and security at match venues

The League Management Company (LMC) has urged Nigeria Professional Football League clubs to ensure strict compliance with safety measures at match venues.

The call is coming on the heels of various security lapses witnessed as a result increasing spectators' attendance at games since 2013 thanks to the strategic campaign of bringing back the fans to the stadium.

In a letter to the clubs, LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar tasked them to put up adequate security measures in their home games on match days alongside other related issues.

"Attendance at NPFL matches has been rising with some games attracting full capacity and having some fans not able to gain access to the stands," Salihu wrote.

"There have been some photographs that showed the possible breach of regulations in which it was observed that more fans may have been admitted to the games than stadium capacity can allow.

"Citing Rules B15.19 of the 2016/17 Framework and Rules, the LMC reminded all clubs that match day tickets must be issued to all spectators to a match even if the gates were declared free."

 He further said: "This is also in consonance with world football governing body, FIFA requirements as contained in FIFA Safety Regulations, Article 18.1 which states that “On match days, only persons in possession of valid permits shall be granted entry to the stadium. Valid permits include Match tickets, Workers’ identity cards and Passes”.

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"Noting that some clubs have of recent been observed to have failed to implement adequate crowd control measures, the LMC insisted that all Clubs are required to comply with and implement health and safety measures to prevent overcrowding of stands or the stadium or other situations which may endanger the lives or wellbeing of spectators.

"It also directed that clubs must put in place other safety requirements such as having trained stewards whose responsibility will include but not limited to monitoring the stands to ensure the capacity of sectors assigned to them were not over crowded, directing fans to appropriate sitting areas and alerting authorities of risk situations.

"Another requirement is the provision of functional public address systems which should be operated on match days for announcements."