Lobi Stars Accuse LMC/Club Owners Of Anointing Enyimba For CAF Champions League
By Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria Professional Football League side, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Benue State have accused the Club Owners Association of Nigerian, COAN and the League Management Company, LMC of colluding with each other to anoint league defending champions, Enyimba FC of Aba as one of the CAF Champions League representative, Bestchoicesports.com.ng reports
The club made the accusation in a release Monday morning.
The release titled Lobi Stars F.C. Insist On Illegality Of PPG; Reject The Voting Process Of Club Owners and signed by the club’s media officer, Austin Tyowua alleged that the adoption of Point Per Game, PPG as the only solution to end the league was an aberration.
The club was reacting to the voting process on Sunday in which 17 out of the 20 members of the COAN voted to end the 2019/2020 league season via PPG. The resolution also declared that there will not be promotion to nor relegation from the NPFL this season.
Lobi Stars in their release noted that the reason adduced for arriving at the adoption of PPG as the only solution to end the league fall short of best practices and accused the LMC and the COAN of working together to pacify some clubs.
“It is no longer news that the NPFL 2019/2020 came to a halt on the 18th March, 2020 as a result of the global natural disaster of COVID-19, a situation that has pushed the league in to “force majeure” thereby necessitating possible options to bring the league to a fair and amicable end.
“Recall, some few weeks ago, the Chairman of LMC Mallam Shehu Dikko on a channels TV show communicated adoption of the PPG mechanism which was unsuccessfully tested in French Lique 1. A French court has already declare it illegal after Olympic Lyonnais and other affected Clubs took the matter for judicial interpretation.
“Lobi Stars have continued to cry wolf since then as the LMC have been working round the clock to pacify other clubs in to endorsing the illegal PPG mechanism just to favour one Club.
“The LMC among other means of trying to achieve the illegality have to play on the sensibilities of the four Clubs in the drop zone by first cancelling relegation to NNL. Incidentally, the Chairman of The Club Owners is a beneficiary of the no relegation arrangement which makes it convenient for LMC to go ahead with the unpopular intention with less pressure as he is conveniently doing the hatchet job for LMC other than standing for the conventional truth.
“Plateau United that is on top of the table had nothing to lose with or without PPG, the other clubs that have nothing to gain or lose with or without PPG could easily compromise for pecuniary gains,” it said.
The shocking revelation the club noted was that, Rivers United voted themselves out of CAF Champions League, not minding the huge funding of the Rivers State Government and efforts of the technical department to have been placed as league runners up for a consideration that only him can explain.
“Lobi Stars have been propagating and will continue to propagate the illegality of the PPG aimed at tinkering with the league table to favour Enyimba that was partly responsible for throwing away the CAF Champions League second slot which was later restored by the same Lobi Stars that the LMC conspired to cheat out of the continent.
“The whole idea of The PPG argument is premised on the singular reason that there is inequality in the number of games by Enyimba who have accumulated 5 outstanding games for no fault of any of the 19 other NPFL Clubs in the name of playing in the continent. It’s quite laughable that 4 of the games are first round games there by violating the league standard that state inter-alia that, after the first round, there shall be second round. It was expected that first round matches were not to be carried over to second round if there was no bad motive ab-initio.
“More to it, playing less number of games should not for any reason give any club advantage over the ones that play more games, rather playing less games should constitute a disadvantage. Fair play is been summersaulted as the PPG is giving advantage to Enyimba who are magically been catapulted from 5th position to 2nd position.”
To buttress their conviction that the result of the voting was premeditated, the club stressed that in the introductory part of the release leading to the voting process, signed by the executive secretary of Club Owners Association Mr Alloy Chukwuemeka on behalf of the Chairman, Barr Isaac Danladi, had clearly stated that, the Government is not contemplating return to sporting activities any time soon, as such, the option of Super 6 was already eliminated.
The club wondered how and why Super 6 which is not within the powers of the LMC or The Club owners was factored as an option noting that the first and natural option which would have been to freeze the league table as it is, and send the three top ranking teams Plateau United, Rivers United and Lobi Stars respectively to the continent was completely omitted.
Lobi Stars further accused the leadership of the club owners for leaving the forum with no option to choose from as the PPG mechanism was the only option left to vote for or abstain. An arrangement that is premeditated to perpetuate the illegality of the PPG.
Adding that “This charade has brazenly exposed us as what seemed non-negotiable has been twisted in broad day light because of an attempt to place an anointed club on the continental representation list.
“The LMC through the federation has the prerogative to send any club to the continent without any form of competition, The LMC would have gone ahead to exercise such discretionary powers without really trying to seek legitimacy of an illegal doctrine in a disgraceful and laughable manner.
“We say No to PPG and table adjustment, as PPG has never been an option in case of force majeure and cannot start now,” the release concluded.
Lobi Stars currently occupy the 3rd position on the 2019/2020 NPFL table with 43 points from 25 matches.