The League Management Company (LMC), the organisers of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have granted a pardon to Kano Pillars star Rabiu Ali and thus freed the midfielder to participate in league games forthwith.
Ali was handed a 12-match ban following his part in the disruption of a league game last June in Lagos. The LMC has now stopped his ban after the 5th game, “commuting” the remaining seven into suspended sentence.
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In a letter written to the player through his Kano-based club on Monday and signed by LMC’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Salihu Abubakar, the body acknowledged Ali’s letters of apology.
“Upon review of the matter, and having considered your past record in the league and the national teams coupled with the community service you recently rendered as directed by the LMC; the remaining period of your ban is hereby suspended to a suspended sentence with effect from Match day 6 of the season,” read the LMC letter, a copy of which was made available to www.aclsports.com
In Rabiu Ali’s absence, his club Kano Pillars have failed to score in any of their five matches played so far this season and have lost twice at their Sani Abacha Stadium home ground in Kano.
Ali will now play his first league game in Pillars’ trip to runaway league leaders Plateau United in Jos on Sunday.
5 – Rabiu Ali has scored at least 10 league goals in five of his last seven seasons with Kano Pillars – he is a midfielder. Return #NPFL20 pic.twitter.com/3UhuzrH7Qa
— NPFL STATISTICS (@NPFLstats) November 25, 2019
As also revealed later in the day on the LMC’s official Twitter handle, Ali is not the only actor that had his ban lessened. Sunshine Stars’ assistant coach Kayode Julius also saw his 12-month ban for assaulting a player last season snapped after seven months.
“Following Julius’ appeal and his exemplary behaviour, the remainder of his punishment which came into effect after Matchday 2 of the 2018/19 season is suspended with immediate effect,” stated the LMC.