By Gracious Akujobi Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Nduka Irabor has disclosed that there are plans to adopt new security measures to curb the issues of violence at match venues ahead of the 2013/2014 season.
The former lawmaker told Prompt News Online that the LMC was planning to engage other para -military organizations and specialized security outfits to compliment the Nigerian Police. This measure he noted would return fans to the stadia across the country.
Irabor says, “At present we are using about 50 Police men par match. That number will be increased as we have opened talks with Para-military Government Agency (Civil Defense) and organized security providers who will get more involved to providing security in our matches.
“Do not be surprised that as a new thing in the league you will find more than Police men handling our security at the stadium venues. It is also part of reassuring people who find that as an excuse from coming to the stadium”.
The League Boss went further to debunk the rumour that the Nigerian league is suffering from hooliganism or riddled with hooligans
He stated “Let no one label this league as one suffering from hooliganism because it is not. The disturbance of some fans at the different stadium has not reached the proportion to describe them as hooligans as such to deter people from coming to the stadium.
“Since we took over running of the league, I have not heard or read a report where it is stated that fans go to the stadium with guns and matchets to harass other fans who go to watch matches.
“But there are skirmishes; we have had cases of people trying to intimidate officials, beating up match officials. Yes but, often times this incidences have been taken care of but they are not on the proportion where you will describe it as something out of hand”.
Irabor asked the media to join hands with LMC and the clubs to bring back the fans to the stadium.
“We need you to help us let this message permeate, let it circulate, let people come back to the stadium.
“The job of bringing people back to the stadium is not just for LMC or the clubs; we have to do it together. Let us restore some life to our league matches” he pleaded.