Heartland have called for a full scale investigation into the incident that happened immediately after the ‘top of the bill’ game between them and Enyimba at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu last Sunday.
Media Officer, Cajetan Nkwopara while condemning the unfortunate incident, said the club would be happy if those who attempted to cause trouble and confusion after the match are unmasked and brought to book.
There was pandemonium at the stadium immediately after the game in which Heartland lost 2-3 to Enyimba but the police succeeded in preventing an escalation of trouble.
Video evidence has shown that supporters in the colours of both teams as well other non-uniformed and bare-chested fans ran into the field after the final whistle.
On sighting the fans, the match officials and other spectators had taken to their heels for fear of being injured while the police managed to arrest one suspect.
Nkwopara said because Heartland abhors hooliganism, the club has totally condemned the attempt by some people to cause trouble and would urge the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to launch an unbiased and full scale investigation into the incident.
“On paper, Heartland were recorded as playing home and so people took it for-granted that every trouble must be from Heartland or that anyone who puts on a red T-shirt must be Heartland fan or that such a person must be acting at the behest of and or interest of Heartland. But I stand here today to disprove this notion,” Nkwopara stated.
“As a club, we fulfilled all that was required of us for there to be adequate security in the match but we are not in-charge of the security. Therefore, if there was a security lapse somewhere that enabled the fans to gain access to the field area after the match, Heartland FC should not be held responsible. These are some of the puzzles we believe a thorough and unbiased investigation can solve,” he added.
The media officer re-affirmed his club’s commitment in joining hands with the NPL to rid off Nigerian football of hooliganism.
“We don’t want hooliganism in football and because we (Heartland ) have been victims severally, we must continue to fight against it. We’ll stand by NPL in its effort to bring sanity and reputation to our league,” he concluded.