The League Management Company have confirmed the relegation of Heartland FC from the Nigeria Professional Football League.
Heartland, who are four-time Nigerian champions, were also fined N3m after they abandoned their match day 38 game against Plateau United in Jos.
The Owerri-based side reportedly abandoned the game in the 75th minute, after they had a goal disallowed with the score at 1-1.
A win for the Naze Millionares would have seen Lagos side MFM, drop to the lower league despite defeating IfeanyiUbah 1-0 on the same day.
They also forfeited three points and three goals, which were awarded to Plateau, who were also fined N1m by the league body for the unruly behaviour of their fans.
However, the former league champions can appeal the LMC’s decisions
The statement said: “The LMC following a review of reports and video of the match issued separate Summary Jurisdiction Notices to the clubs.
“In the case against Heartland, the LMC charged the club for breach of B13.26, in that they failed to continue with a match. It also officially confirms the relegation of the club, which also has the option of appearing before a commission within 48 hours.
“In the charge against Plateau United, their supporters were seen throwing objects onto the field, which led to delay in the start of the second half, an act considered a breach of Rule B13.18. For the breach, the LMC fined Plateau N1m and the club has 48 hours to submit to the ruling or elect to appear before a commission.”
Meanwhile, Heartland say they have not been contacted. “We haven’t received any such letter; when we do, we will know the next step to take,” spokesman of the club, Cajetan Nkwopara, said.
Heartland, who won the league title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1993, are relegated for the first time in their history.