Signs that the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), is fast losing its grip on administration of domestic football in the country may be appearing on the wall, as five clubs in the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNL) bluntly ignored directives by the Amaju Pinnick-led body to go for a Super 8 play off in Aba.
The NFF emergency committee headed by Pinnick had fixed December 19-23 for the Super 8 to produce four teams that will join the 20 NPFL teams for the 2018/2019 Season. The NFF had threatened to take disciplinary action against clubs who failed to carry out its directives on the Super 8.
But five clubs have jettisoned NFF’s threat, as they refused to show up in Aba for the tournament. The Chief Executive Officer of the NNL, Bukola Olopade had resigned his position two weeks ago following an alleged interference by the Pinnick-led NFF in the running of the league. The NNL executives had planned to promote the eight clubs involved in the Super 8 to the elite league since the NFF failed to relegate four clubs at the end of the NPFL league.
To cover its shame for the ‘failed’ Super 8 tourney in Aba, the NFF directed the NNL yesterday to pick new dates not later than January 3 for the tournament.The NFF Emergency Committee in a statement also advised the League Management Company (LMC) yesterday to ensure the commencement of the 2018/2019 season not later than 13th January 2019.
The NFF claimed in the statement that the directive was in reaction to letters received from Clubs that qualified for the Super 8 Tournament that their teams are depleted and therefore, they do not have enough personnel to prosecute the Super 8 as earlier scheduled, which would have enabled the NPFL to commence on December 30, 2018.
“Following the directive to the eight Clubs qualified for the Super 8 Tournament of the Nigeria National League to proceed to Aba for the tournament, we received letters from Clubs to the effect that they presently do not have enough players to prosecute the tournament.
“In view of the above, and the contrite tone of their letters, the Emergency Committee has opted to allow the affected Clubs two (2) weeks to recruit players to beef up their playing personnel, after which they will then prosecute the Super 8. The NNL should therefore pick new dates not later than 3rd January for the tournament.
“In the meantime, the matter relating to the five (5) affected Clubs will be referred to the relevant NFF committee to deal with while the three (3) Clubs that showed up in Aba as directed will each be paid compensation of the sum of N2,000,000 (Two Million Naira Only).
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