Bendel Insurance threaten to pull out of NPFL
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has to put on its thinking cap to douse the furore trailing its decision to reverse the punishment the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) meted on Remo Stars over alleged breach of the rules governing the competition.
The NFF’s Disciplinary Committee, on Friday, reinstated the three points deducted from Remo Stars’ total by the IMC, saying that after reviewing available facts and pieces of evidence, it did not find sufficient evidence to support the claim by centre referee, Ndubuisi Ukah, that he was assaulted by Remo Stars General Manager, Ekene Adams.
The Committee averred that Adams, seen carrying oxygen about, was incapable of hitting someone to the extent at which was reported by the ‘victim,’ Mr. Ukah.
The Disciplinary Committee, led by Jude Obikwelu, found that there was no available evidence to prove the alleged act of assault against the referee by the said Ekene.
IT added that the physical appearance and medical condition of Ekene, as shown in the match day video and as he appeared before the Committee, revealed that he was on oxygen support and so may not have the capacity to raise a hand to hit or violently assault another as claimed by the referee.
“The order deducting three points and three goals from the accumulated points/goals of Remo Stars FC for the assault of a match official is hereby set aside,” the Disciplinary Committee said in a statement.
However, the decision has not gone down well with many stakeholders of the game, who dismissed it as unfortunate.
With the decision, Remo Stars have now moved one spot up on the NPFL Group A table to fifth with a total of 24 points and a +2 goals difference.
Bendel Insurance remain top of the group with 31 points from 15 matches, Akwa United are second with 26 points, Enyimba are third with 25 points, while both Plateau United and Remo Stars now have 24 points apiece with Plateau fourth on superior goals difference.
Reacting to the decision, Edo State Deputy Governor, who is in charge of Bendel Insurance, has threatened to pull the log leaders out of the NPFL if the decision is not reversed.
Speaking on a Channels’ television programme, said the club would write to the NFF to express their disgust with the turn of events, adding that they could during their meeting tomorrow decide to pull out of the league.
“For us, the IMC has done a great job, the league is stable, and for us, it’s about confidence for our players. We want Nigeria to do well at major competitions, the only way we can achieve that is to have a good league, a league where the players can express themselves, a league where the referees can officiate the game with the rules of the game.
“When you cannot guarantee the safety of the referee, we will not allow our players to play in a league where the security is not guaranteed.”