NPFL Club Owners Do Not Have Power To Cancel Other Leagues – Bendel Insurance
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By Our Correspondent
The management of Nigeria National League, NNL side, Bendel Insurance Football Club of Benin has said that Nigeria Professional Football League , NPFL Club owners do not have any right to order the cancellation of NNL, Nigeria Women Football League and Nationwide League One, NLO, Bestchoicesports.com.ng reports.
The management in a release Thursday signed by the club’s media officer, Charles Ihimekpen, appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and the minister of sports to intervene on the cancellation of leagues in the country by the Club Owners
The club while noting that the NPFL Clubs treated the other league owners with disdain described the cancellation as undemocratic.
The 2018 NNL champions noted that
the “the most important league in the country” as the NNL is being regarded, is not an appendage of NPFL, and so, should not be subjected to the dictates of the premier league management.
“In view of the news of NPFL votes for cancellation of NNL, NLO and women league in the country, wish to draw the attention of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Federal Ministry of Sports to the dangerous consequences and appeal to the country’s football body and Ministry to reject such proposal.
“The lower leagues club owners and players already felt treated with disdain by the ignoble proposed cancelation of all leagues in Nigeria by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and representatives of the 20 clubs participating in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).
“Bendel Insurance FC consider the unilateral decision by NPFL Club Owners as undemocratic and unacceptable as other stakeholders in the nation’s Football leagues viz – NNL, Nigerian Women’s League and Nationwide League were not carried along in the unpopular decision.
“We wish to remind all stakeholders that NNL is not an appendage of NPFL,and so, should not be subjected to the dictates of the premier league management.
“We want to also use this opportunity to advise NFF not to use the Coronavirus as an excuse to end
the NNL without champions and promotion of clubs.
“Recall that the Nigeria National league (NNL) was made not to restart after Chrismas break even before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic on the basis upon which the leagues were later suspended .
“Unlike the women league,NNL already kicked off the season with matches played last in December 2019. The inability to resume in January 10 2020 as planned was mainly due to problems associated with payment of indemnity, issues of sponsorship and other challenges,known not to be the making of the affected clubs.
“It is most unfortunate and disrespectful that there are 42 clubs in the NNL, yet none of us received any correspondence or invitation to attend the meeting where the voting was done to cancel all the leagues.
“The situation such decision is throwing up is not only nauseating and worrisome,but capable of furthering the killing of the beauty of competition, enthusiasm and pursuit of career derivable in football game.
“We should also take into consideration that the lower leagues begath the premier ones and if not given the adequate attention and resources for them to flourish, there is great danger to genuine football development in the country.
“NFF and other football stakeholders should be reminded that Football Clubs are not run with water but money. It begins with development plans,registration of players; payment of clearance fees;payment of salaries wihich is statutory and unuttered in Bendel Insurance and others as well as other logistics going side by side.
“Our employers have invested heavily on our team,now, what reports are we going to give them, that the league is terminated without us making any inputs in the decision?
“Our demand is that the matter be urgently looked into again by the Honourable Minister ,NFF and other relevant stakeholders with a view to reaching a common ground on the best and more acceptable way to end the NNL.
”On the way forward, we wish to cast your mind back to the 2017/2018 season with a similar circumstance but with a more acceptable decision,and suggest that top eight clubs across the four groups (NNL)be picked and play super eight tournament to finish the league where four best finishers can join the NPFL for abridged 2021 season,” the statement read
The NNL was suspended after matchday 5 on December 19 2019 for Christmas break. Unfortunately, following lack of money and other issues, the league suffered several postponement before the ravaging coronavirus led to the indefinite suspension of all football activities in the country by the NFF on March 18, 2018.