Controversy as Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers lay claim to Nigeria Premier League crown

The 2011/12 Nigeria Premier League season may have ended Friday evening but the drama surely continues with two teams, Kano Pillars and Enugu Rangers now laying claim to being the season’s champions.

The Nigeria Premier Management, Friday officially, handed the League trophy to Kano Pillars, saying it amassed more points (61) than the other 18 teams in the League.

Surprisingly reports from Enugu also indicated that Rangers also declared themselves champions following Friday’s 3-0 win over Sharks at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu.

Idu Jude, the media aide to the Nigeria Premier League Chairman, Chief Rumsen Baribote, told PREMIUM TIMES that Rangers action is nothing short of a comedy.

“How can they declare themselves Champions? Is it that they had more points than Pillars or were they even tied on same points. The Nigeria Premier League Management as you already known has handed the League trophy to the rightful Champions which is Kano Pillars any team that faults the move should express their grievances via the right channels and not just going to town to cause confusion”  Mr Jude told PREMIUM TIMES.

It will be recalled that with a game left to go in the season, Rangers were previously on 61 points while Kano pillars were on 64 points but last Wednesday’s decision by the NPL Management to expel Ocean Boys from the League and subsequently deduct all points accrued from matches involving the Yenegoa-based team  saw Rangers lose a massive 6 points to drop to 55 points while Pillars  saw just 3 points chopped off them to now have a total of 61 points, Lobi Stars the other team in the run for the League title also had 6 points off their points haul to drop from 63 to 61 points.

If not for this last minute decision,  the results from Friday’s games; Kano Pillars losing 1-2 to Sunshine Stars and Rangers winning 3-0 at home to Sharks FC, would have seen then the Flying Antelopes crowned champions after a 29-year wait for a silverware.

Hence Rangers claim to the League title is on the premise that the NPL would have to reverse their descion to expel Ocean boys from the League and also award the points that were expunged from the teams that got points off  the Brass’ Yenegoa  based team.

According to Rangers, a letter of protest has already been filed to the Nigeria Football Federation asking for the reversal of the points reduction and could go as far as FIFA to get what they termed justice.

In a statement, the media officer of Rangers, Foster Chime, said the Rangers management met on Thursday together with Enugu Football Association and thereafter wrote and sent an official protest letter to NFF, with  the heading “protest against the NPL decision on Wednesday, 8th Sept. 2012 on the deduction of  accrued  match points from Ocean Boys F.C of brass matches and proper interpretation of Article  4.3 (2) of  the 2011/2012 Rules of the NPL.

Mr Jude on his part said the NPL has not officially seen any letter of appeal from any quarters but promised that such, if eventually seen, would be treated on  its merit.

Kano Pillars coach, Baba Ganaru, does not want to be dragged into the controversy, telling PREMIUM TIMES  that the title won by his team is well deserved as his team only reaped from its season-long hard work.

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