LAHORE, March 19: Lahore’s Wohaib Butt Memorial Club has been docked four points for fielding an ineligible player in the fourth Pakistan Premier League (PPL) that concluded here on January 28.
The club has been punished by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) for fielding Nigerian national Akeem Abbas Olajuwon during matches in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. The player was asked to take the field by the club’s authority without getting permission from the PFF.
“According to technical rules of PPL 2007, each participating team can accommodate two foreigners, after getting a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the PFF. But PFF failed to receive any kind of information from the club about Akeem in order to check his eligibility,” said PFF Secretary General Lt. Col. (retd.) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi.
Abbas, a 19-year-old midfielder from Nigeria, was called by Wohaib Club from Sango-Ota’s Indomie Football Club, which is known for producing international players like Jonah Oketola and Taiye Taiwo. Akeem represented Wohaib at PFF’s blue-riband event, occupying the field for the Lahore outfit without getting a go-ahead from the PFF.The PPL ’07 disciplinary committee member Wing Cmdr (retd.) Pervaiz Saeed Mir added that the action had been taken as per article 10 (1) and any team using an ineligible player would have to forfeit all games in which the player participated.
Moreover, PFF changed Wohaib’s 2-1 victory against PTV at Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium (Nov 9) and 2-2 draw against Pakistan Railways at Lahore’s University Ground, Old Campus (Dec 16), awarding a 3-0 victory and three points to their opponents. However, the revised standings in the 14-team table have had no major impact as Wohaib Club and Pakistan Railways had already been relegated to B-Div soccer, to be replaced by the two promoted teams namely Lahore’s Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) and Karachi’s Pakistan Steel.