Joseph Ejeh Banned One Year From Football As NFF Refuses To Award Fosla FC 3 Points Against Police Machine
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By Amaechi Agbo
A promising Nigerian footballer, Joseph Ejeh who plays as an attacking midfielder have had his promising football career punctured after the Nigeria Football Federation Disciplinary Committee handed him a one year ban from football following unprofessional conduct
The 23-year old player was suspended from football for one year after he reneged on his contract with his club, Fosla Football Club of Abuja, falsified his age and played for another club in the Nationwide League One without clearance from his parent club.
Ejeh left the Nationwide League One, NLO campaigners to play for a rival, Police Machine FC of Abuja. Following their match on 2nd July, 2022, Fosla FC petitioned Nigeria Football Federation, claiming that their opponents, Police Machine used an ineligible player, Joseph Ejeh during the match.
In arriving at its decisions after findings, the NFF Disciplinary Committee noted that Joseph Ejeh had subsisting contract with Fosla FC and therefore ineligible to play for Police Machine
The Committee however refused to grant the claimant, Fosla FC, the 3 points and 3 goals as stipulated in football rule books. The Committee noted that it would not grant the prayer sort by Fosla FC because they did not comply with requirements for such lodgement
Below is the details of the Disciplinary Committee report as published by the NFF on Thursday
DECISION OF THE NIGERIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE HELD ON 25TH AUGUST 2022 ON THE ELIGIBILITY OF PLAYER JOSEPH EJEH WHO WAS FEATURED IN THE MATCH DAY 13 OF NLO DIVISION 1 LEAGUE FIXTURE BETWEEN FOSLA FOOTBALL FC VS. POLICE MACHINE FC PLAYED ON 2ND JULY, 2022
- The Player Joseph Ejeh was indeed a student/player of Fosla Football Academy from 2011 to date.
- That the Player’s International Passport and his oral testimony showed and confirmed that the player’s date of birth is 27th November, 1999.
- That the student/player entered into two (2) sets of agreements with Fosla Academy: First, as a minor which terminated in 2018 – the year he finished Secondary Education – and; The second agreement which commenced in 2018 for the sponsorship of his Tertiary Education.
- That Fosla Academy secured a remedial admission at Nasarawa State University Keffi for the player and even paid the school fee for the remedial studies; subsequently the player absconded.
- That as of 2011 when Fosla Academy engaged the student/player, there was no information or document to show that he had any obligation with anybody or Academy.
- That the agreement entered in 2011 between Fosla Academy and the student/ player, and witnessed by the father of the Player, Simon Joseph was a contract with a minor but evidence showed that the student/player executed another contract for Sponsorship of Tertiary Education with Fosla Academy when he attained the age of majority.
- That from the facts available to the committee, there was no document or letter from the student/player who is privy to the said Sponsorship Agreement, challenging/ terminating the contract entered with Fosla Academy. That the only document purporting to terminating the said Sponsorship Agreement was one dated 14th May, 2021, signed by one Simon Ejeh, the father of the player who was not privy to the contract.
- That the student/ player, aside from being evasive, was economical with the truth in the whole matter.
- That from the fact, evidence and circumstances of this case, Horvel Prime Academy did not write or confront Fosla Academy on their alleged claim on the student/player, rather they lured him into absconding and abandoning his contract with Fosla Academy.
10.That Horvel Prime Academy went further in an unclear circumstance, transacted on the said student/player with Police Machine FC, leading to the student/ player being licensed by the Nationwide League One (NLO).
11.That the purported loan request dated 2nd December, 2020 by Police Machine FC was not addressed to any Club/ Academy specifically which Mr. Moses Lucky confirmed that fact during the hearing.
12.That from the evidence available, the student/ player and Police Machine FC connived and falsified the age of the student/player from 27/11/1999 to 25/11/2005 as contained on License No. 5096 of the NLO License 2022/23 football season.
13.That Fosla Academy informed Daniel Kwaji, a Coach of Police Machine FC via a WhatsApp Screenshot Chat dated 21st April, 2022 of the Status of Joseph Ejeh as their Player, but yet Police Machine FC did not take any steps.
14.That there was no formal protest lodged at the field of play by Fosla Academy on the eligibility of the student/player as required by the rules of the game. Art. 6.01(4) NLO Rules.
Based on the findings above, the Committee decides as follows:
- For bringing the game to disrepute, the player Joseph Ejeh is hereby immediately suspended from all football related activities for a period of one (1) year.
- That Police Machine FC is fined the sum of One Hundred (N100,000) to be paid to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) within five (5) days for aiding and abetting falsification of the age of the student/ player. Art. 3.01 (4) Rules.
- The Committee takes strong exception to the conduct and role played by Chairman, Horvel Prime Academy, Mr. Hyacinth in the manner he conducted himself particularly as it relates to luring of player Joseph Ejeh from Fosla Academy and his subsequent loaning to Police Machine FC. Mr. Hyacinth is hereby reprimanded to desist from any further acts or actions capable of bringing the game of football to disrepute.
- The Committee is of the strong view that proper clearance should be done with Fosla Academy as far as the status of Player Joseph Ejeh is concerned.
- The Committee is inclined not to award 3 goals and 3 points sought for by Fosla Academy, particularly that the condition precedent provided for lodging a protest of this nature was not complied with by Fosla Academy in accordance with art 6.01(4) NLO Rules.
- That the above decisions are without prejudice to the right of appeal.
In attendance: Prof. Olufemi Adegbesan (Vice Chairman); Damon N. Dashe Esq. (Member); Chike Onyeacho, Esq. (Member); Adamu Sani Osmond, Esq. (Member); Queen W. Otarakpo, Esq. (Secretary)