The LMC controversially disqualified privately-owned clubs.
The League Management Company (LMC) has certified 18 Clubs as fit to participate in the 2013/14 Glo Premier League; and has controversially dropped the only two privately owned clubs in the league.
In a press release from the LMC, the management body said all the fixtures involving Giwa FC and Nembe City FC have been dropped from the schedule. It said both teams failed to substantially comply with the minimum registration requirements.
The LMC’s statement was announced Thursday by its Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar who disclosed that the other 18 clubs, all owned by various state governments, substantially met the requirements and received provisional approvals to compete in the league.
“Since the deadline for submission of registration form closed 48 hours ago, we have been scrutinising the registration materials returned by the Clubs and can now state that Nembe City and Giwa FC are in substantial default of the minimum requirements to participate in the Glo Premier League this season. They have consequently been withdrawn from the fixture and all matches involving both Clubs are cancelled,” Mr. Abubakar said in Abuja.
The LMC said the registration requirements are based on licensing principles that promote the development of the league for the benefit of the Clubs.
“This is the first step towards bringing our clubs to meet the conditions prescribed in the Nigeria Football Federation Club Licensing Regulation which recently came into force,” it said.
The LMC did not mention the specific requirements not met by the two private clubs.
Nembe, Giwa react
In a reaction to the LMC’s statement, the two affected clubs said they were not aware of the decision as they were yet to be contacted officially by the LMC.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone chat, the General Manager of Giwa FC of Jos, Sammie Adesoji, said “first and foremost we have not been removed from the league because it has not been made official to us; that is just on the page of the newspaper or social network.”
Mr. Adesoji accused the LMC of seeking to maintain the old statusquo of only state-owned clubs in the premier league.
”What I just see in all these is that we are not here to encourage the private people to come into football running in Nigeria, we are still interested in the government running of clubs.
“For instance, how do we expect a privately owned clubside to be able to do what the government side will do financially. If that one is done, EFCC will follow the individual; they gave criteria which private clubs cannot afford.
”I want to also state that we met all the necessary requirements, we have not been officially intimated. We only saw it on the pages of the newspaper.”
In his reaction, the Chairman of Nembe City football club, Rumson Baribote, said the expulsion is a mere rumour.
“It is a mere rumour. We have not been communicated.
“Can the LMC show at least 5 clubs that have submitted the bonds, let them give you,” Mr. Baribote said.
He accused the LMC of going against the decisions reached with clubs during the last meeting in Abuja.
“The real agreement was that between now and Week 9, we should bring the N25 million; and if you don’t bring it they did not say they (affected clubs) will be disqualified from the league; (they said) that they will seize the N15 million Globacom’s revenue that is supposed to be given to you,” he said.
The new controversy could affect the commencement of the league, which has faced various postponements since 2013 and was scheduled to start on Friday.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...