The management of Gateway United Football Club of Ogun state has praised the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation Disciplinary Committee for ordering the replay of the week 14 match between the Club and ABS of Ilorin.
In a statement signed by the media Officer of the Abeokuta based outfit, Mr Rotimi Oduniyi, said justice was served by the disciplinary committee’s decision on the replay of match with a new set of match official.
Oduniyi said although not all the decisions of the committee were cheering, he said the club will abide by all the decision taken by the committee in good faith and in the interest of the game. In the meantime, Gateway United has blasted their counterparts ABS FC for pushing out an inglorious statement saying that the decision of the NFF Disciplinary Committee was taken at Government House in Abeokuta.
The club said the thought was not only wapped but stupid and shows the ABS management’s lack of respect for constituted authority while noting that ABS has been in engaged beer- parlour journalism since the Ilorin controversy, he advised ABS management to be courteous and stop acting like palm-wine drinkers who vomit nonsense at every opportunity.
Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr has now invited South Africa –based goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi to camp for next week’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Algeria in Uyo.
Akpeyi, who stars for Chippa United, was in the Nigeria U20 squad that finished as runners –up at the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup in the Netherlands, and was also in the bronze –winning U23 team at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament in Brazil in August this year.
The former junior international is a direct replacement for Super Eagles number one, Carl Ikeme, whose English club Wolverhampton Wanderers wrote to the Nigeria Football Federation that he would be unavailable as a result of injury.
The Super Eagles take on the Fennecs of Algeria in Uyo on Saturday, 12th November, in a Matchday 2 clash of the African race for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The 45th Nigeria Professional Football League season kicked-off on Saturday 20th February 2016 and ended exactly a month ago, it was a huge turn around in so many ways with Rangers international football club of Enugu claiming the trophy at the end after 32 years of trophy drought.
The Imama Amapakabo led side started the season with a 3-2 loss at the home of 2014 league champions Kano pillars but ended with a 4-0 thumping of Ladan Bosso tutored side El-kanemi warriors at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium in Enugu (The Cathedral).
@RangersIntFC were no doubt worthy champions as they were the only team to garner double digits of away points (12) in the second round of the season. compared to their fellow contenders (Rivers united and Wikki tourists).
The league also witnessed developments on several fronts which included partnership with different companies part of which saw NPFL players, Administrators and some selected media travel to Spain in a partnership with LaLiga.
Looking back at the Highs and Lows in the recently concluded season, and ways to make the league better come next season, 9jagoal conducted interviews across different locations seeking opinions of football fans and some stakeholders of the game and here are what they have to say…..
Ofonakara Favour-Anambra state
Favour highlighted Fans turnout, Friday night games, simultaneous airing of matches and the increase in wins away from home as some of the positives from the just concluded NPFL season.
He however mentioned constant report of violent conduct of fans, assault on match officials which mostly lead to abandoning of matches, biased officiating, bad condition of stadia, non-payment of player’s salaries and match bonuses. Saying ”(Monkey go dey work and baboon go dey chop”) as some of the negative side of the just concluded season.
Going forward, Favour said “We live in a country where making and formulating laws and rules is never a problem, where we fail woefully is implementing the rules”. He encouraged the LMC to stand without fear or favour firmly on any decision they take or any rule they set no matter who its against.
He opined that security should be beefed up more on match venues to curb the issue of violence during or after matches and anyone caught, fans or officials should be punished severely as a lesson to others.
Ubong- Uyo, Akwa ibom
“Last season, well, like other
seasons had its own highs, lows and a fair share of drama”.
When asked about the drama, Ubong said:
“I won’t forget the bee invasion that disrupted the 4-0 bashing of Warri wolves in Bauchi by their host, Wikki Tourists and also the fiasco-of-a-trophy-parade by Enugu Rangers. Even father Abraham’s great grand mother wouldn’t approve that truck for a parade of any kind”…He smiled.
He mentioned also how LMC sang an unfortunate melody for Giwa FC which got them expelled, reinstated and expelled again as another drama.
For his positives, he said;
“Rangers finally laid their hands on a trophy after 32 years of dreaming. Thanks to their superb consistency all season long”.
For the negative(s),
Ubong said Ifeanyi Egwim’s final match-day injury which got even his opponents crying out of pity and the relegation of Heartland FC and Warri Wolves, two traditional league powerhouses who couldn’t retain their NPFL Club league status for another season which was a huge low for lovers of the game like himself as his negatives.
Jinadu Afis Olayiwola, Lagos
“One of my major positives is to see El-Kanemi Warriors back at their home ground in Maiduguri”.
“The large turnout of fans and also. Rangers FC ending their 32years of bareness to emerge as Champions to the delight of the people of Enugu who always filled the stadium for every home game they played”.
“However my low point of the season came after week 13 and has to be when Giwa FC was ordered to play it home matches away from home by the League Management Company when they were found guilty of crowd violence, result which lead Giwa FC not to honour three fixtures and they were those against Wikki Tourist (MD14), Akwa Utd (MD16) and Enyimba of Aba (MD18). Some that led to series of court battle”
“Officiating, Security are where we need to improve upon going into next season” Afiz said.
He further stressed that more games from the North should be on TV and that the LMC media should make available the highlight of matches to National Tv stations hours after the games.
Oladimeji Oshode- A Lagos based sports journalist
“My high point of the league are basically the introduction of Friday night football & also seeing some live games on TV. This has really assisted the league to improve beyond our expectations”.
“While My low point was when Giwa FC decided not to adhere to the rules & regulations of LMC, dragging the LMC to court & also trying to arrest the Chief Operating Officer & Chairman of the League”.
When asked what are the ways forward, Dimeji said;
“The way forward is numerous but I will start by saying more games should be live on TV, strict actions should be given to dafaulters of the league & try to encourage more fans to the stadium thou they have done a good job on that but it can be improved upon”.
“My high point of last season was the crowd attendance at stadiums, increase number of games on television and the evolution of new football philosophy by some clubs”
Jose also pointed fingers at the Giwa FC saga as one of the negatives of the concluded season. He however mentioned shameful officiating towards the end of the league and stadium violence recorded in some centers as other negative.
He then encouraged the league organisers and clubs to educate their fans ahead of the new season.
Ichull Lordson -Nasarawa united player
Talking about great deeds that happen to the NPFL this season, “I was so surprised to see the league come to conclusion at the fixed time the organisers fixed the ending of it, with all the Giwa saga still the LMC stood it ground to finish the league when due, that’s was my highs in the league”
“But my low point of the league is discipline of the referees to handle most of the second half of the season was very poor, after all the good works the LMC put together to make the league one of the best, still the referees try to mess the good work up at the dine minutes”.
Looking at ways forward, “it is all about us, why I said us is that it involves us all”. “First let’s all respect each others contract, let’s work according to the laws of the game, let’s stop imposing our own selfish laws to guild the league in our country”.
Ichull also went further by saying “The organisers should also make sure they look into contract terms of both parties involve, meaning players and coaches contract with the clubs, and the issues of referees killing clubs joy for reasons best know to them”.
He stated Players welfarism by club administrators, Conducive venues to all teams as a way to improve the league if looked into.
Eddy Iseri Ogbemudia- Delta state
“Personally some of my high points of this season are firstly the Friday night game, that’s usually televised, there was large turnout”.
Eddy commended the efforts of the LMC and SuperSports on the increased number of games televised this season”.
“On the aspect of players welfare, compared with last season where four notable clubs namely Dolphin, Sharks, Warri Wolves and FC Taraba laid siege at the state government houses…Nothing of such occurred this season”.
Then for my lows, “firstly Giwa Giwa Giwa, because of the selfish interest of one man, the smooth sailing league would have been halted with series of court injunctions”.
Then officiating was characterised by so many controversial calls, that are are so glaring to forgive, which necessitated some fans uprising in some location that gave rise to the famous COUPON fans
Not forgetting the Akwa Utd fans that lost their lives and got injured on their way to support their team in an NPFL game and also some other clubs that were involved in road accidents/ robbery attacks in the road… Government should fix our highways and some club should consider partnering local airlines.
Re-orientation of match officials, security personnels and more live games on TV if possible some radio commentaries for some of the fans who are always on the high way or in locations where they can’t catch a glimpse of live matches and TV
For next season are also what should be looked into.
Eddy also want the league organisers, LMC to revisit the guarantee bond and they should mandate clubs to furnished them with account details of all players, for prompt payment of players wages.
With the opinions of gathered so far, we can conclude that the recently concluded season, has its ups and downs and followers around the country has stated what can be done going into the next season.
Therefore the league organisers (LMC), football stakeholders, fans must work hand in glove to make the coming season a better one in all ramifications.
God bless LMC
God bless NPFL
God bless Nigerian football.
The Ogun State Sports Commissioner, Hon. Moruf Afolabi Afuape has accused the management of Nigeria National League, NNL and Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ABS Football Club of Ilorin for conspiracy against Gateway United Football Club from gaining promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL.
Hon. Afuape said, the antics and pre-match irregularities denied gateway Football Club from promoting to the elite league of the country.
Afuape while addressing newsmen in Abeokuta on Tuesday alleged that, the ABS management and match Commissioner fixed the gate fee at exorbitant rate preventing gateway players and officials including the state delegation from gaining entry into the main bowl of the stadium.
He said, the sum of N10, 000 was fixed for popular seat of the stadium, while N15000 was charged for VIP side as another attempt to denied gateway fans access into the stadium.
He further stressed that, his players were delayed in the team bus for over an hour, denying the players to take part in the match warm-up.
He however called on the disciplinary committee of the NNL to reverse the decision of the match Commissioner and centre referee and award three points and three goals to gateway football club.
The Ogun Sports Commissioner further emphasized that, according to Article 3.83 NNL rules, any match delayed beyond 30-minutes of the kick off schedule, should be deemed no match.
He therefore, queried the ineptitude decision of the centre referee and match Commissioner to ABS after the host team delayed the match to 4:45pm against the earlier schedule of 4pm kicks off time for lack of security personnel.
“The incident that occurred on Sunday in Ilorin in match day 14 between ABS Football Club and Gateway United Football Club was uncalled and very annoying.
“I make bold to say that, there was conspiracy against Gateway United because of the intrigues that played out during the match build up.
“We got to the stadium at about 2:35pm but we got the shocking tale of our lives when we were told that only the players would gain entrance into the main bowl and officials. And any fans that would enter the main bowl must pay N10000 as gate fee for the popular sidebar and N15000 for the VIP seat.
“After gaining entry into the stadium, our players were locked down in the dressing room with security operatives carrying ammunition in the main bowl which is against FIFA Rules.
“It was as a result of this intimidation that the players decided not play the match for lack of security and playing under security threats.
“I value the lives of my players than the 3points in Ilorin. We could not continue the match when the players were finally freed from lock down with the presence of armed security operatives”.
Hon. Afuape therefore took a swipe at the National President of SWAN, Honor Sirawoo for taking side with the NNL and ABS despite the injustice and intimidation.
He therefore called on the Sports Minister, Barr. Solomon Dalung and NFF President to review the match and take necessary action to set a precedent for future occurrence.