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LMC threatens Heartland
The League Management Company (LMC) has said in an unmistakable term that Heartland risk a ban from NPFL in event of failing to honour contractual agreement with the players.
The LMC equally advised the players to follow due processes enshrined in relevant sections of the league regulations in declaring industrial dispute.
The LMC issued the two-pronged caution at the end of its meeting in Abuja as it condemned the club’s management that cannot keep to contractual obligations with the players.
“The LMC takes the issue of players welfare very serious and we’re appealing to relevant authorities concerned in the reported Heartland case to act appropriately as reports such as strike by the players undermines the values we’re building for the league,” said the LMC chief operating officer, Salihu Abubakar.
The LMC said that should the players strike lead to the abortion of the Week 36 fixture between Heartland and El-Kanemi Warriors and the Week 37 match against Enugu Rangers, the club will be expelled from the league in line with Article 4.2(3).
“We’ll apply the full weight of the sanctions stated in Article 4.2(3) and will go a step further to enlist the support of the Nigeria Football Federation to extend the sanction to a prohibition of teams from the state participating in any national football competitions at all levels,” said Abubakar.
Abubakar however admonished the players to comply with the relevant rules dealing with steps to be taken by players who are owed salaries and other entitlement by their managements.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the LMC is not at this moment in receipt of any formal notification by Heartland players to their management as is required in the rules and we’ll therefore view the reported strike action as contravening our rules.
“Players who embark on strike contrary to the rules will be punished in line with the rules which are suspension from the league for two seasons and no club in the league or in any other league in the country will be permitted to hire them,” the LMC chief said.
However, reports can confirm that the striking players have temporarily agreed to sheath their swords to allow the club management time to meet their demands.
“The chairman assured us we’ll get our money, we’ve decided to give him the benefit of doubt and have agreed to call off the strike albeit temporarily.
“We’ve given him days up to the week to the encounter against Enugu Rangers to pay up or we resume a full scale strike.
“We’ve resumed training for the Week 3 match against El-Kanemi Warriors on Saturday in Owerri.
“We’ll fight hard to ensure we grab the three points at stake and shore up our position on the log,” said one of the players who pleaded not to be named.
Heartland is 15th on the 20-team elite league log on 46 points.

Eagles Set For Ethiopia, To Leave Abuja Saturday
Super Eagles of Nigeria have declared their readiness to emerge victorious in Sundays Fifa World Cup qualifier against the Ethiopians in Addis- Ababa to make the second leg later in Nigeria a mere formality.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi worked with his full squad for two days in Abuja ahead of a 2014 World Cup playoff in Ethiopia.
All the five players who missed the team’s first training on Tuesday made it to the Wednesday’s and Thursday’s training. They are Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Nosa Igiebor, Shola Ameobi and Brown Ideye.
The late arrivals were put through an extra session of conditioning after the training, which lasted for an hour and 40 minutes. Coach Stephen Keshi played a full two-a-side game, which appeared to match the possibles against the probables.
What looked like the first team paraded a midfield of Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi and Sunday Mba, while South Africa-based James Okwuosa partnered Godfrey Oboabona in the heart of the defence. The dark rain clouds over Abuja meant that the Eagles trained under a cooler weather unlike on Tuesday.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, addressed the team soon after the work out, urging the team to do the country proud and assuring them of total support. The squad will train at the same Abuja National Stadium for the next two days and depart for Ethiopia early Saturday.
Initial reports from Addis Ababa said it will be a chilly cold by match time on Sunday, which could well suit Nigeria’s Europe-based contingency.
Kick-off is slated for 4pm Ethiopian time, which is 2pm Nigerian time.

NPFL GAMES WEEK 36 (12/10/13)
Heartland — El Kanemi
Rangers — Sharks fc
Nasarawa — Sunshine
Enyimba — ABS fc
Nembe City — 3SC
Wolves — Akwa United
Kaduna Utd — Bayelsa Utd
Gombe Utd — Kano Pillars
Dolphins — Lobi Stars
Kwara Utd — Wikki Tourist
B/Faso — Algeria
Ivory Coast — Senegal
Ethiopia — Nigeria
Tunisia — Cameroon
EUROPE (11/10/13)
Spain — Belarus
England — Montenegro
Ukraine — Poland
Portugal — Israel
Holland — Hungary
Sweden — Austria
Germany — Ireland
Denmark — Italy
Croatia — Belgium
COMOBEL (11/10/13)
Venezuela — Paraguay
Colombia — Chile
Ecuador — Uruguay
Argentina — Peru
Mexico — Panama
Honduras — Costa Rica
USA — Jamaica
S/Korea — Brazil
Serbia — Japan
France — Austria
Morocco — South Africa

RESULTS 6/10/13
Avutu 1 0 Okenalogho
Umunakanu 3 0 Ihite Nsu
Amakohia 2 1 Dimneze
FIXTURES 13/10/13
Ikpe Nsu — Umueze
Umuariam — Alike
Ehume — Odenkume