Sunday, June 28, 2009

Premier League Actors Condemn 9-0 Score-line

Reactions have continued to trail the scandalous 9-0 score-line between Zamfara United and Kaduna United on the last day of the recently-concluded season of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL).
Zamfara United won the match at the Sardauna Memorial Stadium in Gusau in a bid to escape relegation.
But several actors in the Premier League have pointed out that the result between the two northern clubs has rubbished the effort of the NPL board to improve the standard of the country’s top-flight league.
Top scorer of the 2008/2009 season, Akarandut Orok, could not hide his dismay at the outcome of the game and believes that it has rubbished the image of the Premier League in Nigeria.
Orok, who equalled a 19-year-old record by scoring 17 times in the past season, told our correspondent that if such scandal is allowed to go unpunished would pave way for more clubs to perpetrate same act.
“It is poor that we are the ones destroying our own league. After so much effort being put in place to improve the league, we are still moving backwards. There must be a way to stop this from happening again. If not it will become a permanent part of our league,” the Akwa United striker said.
Former Niger Tornadoes’ head coach, Zachary Baraje, rated last season as one of best in recent years, but singled the Zamfara United and Kaduna United as a sore memory for the Premier League.
Baraje blamed club managers for wanting to win matches for their sides at all costs.
He added that until the mentality of win at all costs by clubs across the stop ends that such score-line would become a permanent feature in the Nigerian league.
“When I heard the score-line, I was a bit shocked that how can such score-line be. I asked myself, why hasn’t any team score that number of goals in a single match in the middle of the season. But that is always the problem with our clubs because those in charge want to win every game by any means and at all costs no matter whether the game suffers or not. This is one attitude that needs to stop anyway for our league to develop,” he said.
Chairman of Niger Tornadoes, Suleiman David, wants the Premier League board to set up a measure to check such occurrences in the league in order to save the game from suffering.
He also pointed out that such scandalous score-line on the last day of the season is bad publicity for the football league in Nigeria.
“A score-line with 9-0 at the end of the season is bad publicity for football in Nigeria especially when you consider the scenario around the result. Now the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Premier League board should work hand in hand to ensure that such results do not recur again especially at the end of the season,” the former board member of Nigeria’s soccer governing body posited.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) General Manager, Mutiu Adepoju, whose team would feature in the top-flight next season, expressed disappointment with the result in Gusau.
He called for a thorough probe into the case to ascertain if the match was fixed.
“The authority needs to carry out a proper investigation into the matter since complaints have been made over the result. If anyone is found guilty I believe that person should be punished,” he simply proffered.
Nasarawa United striker, Abdulrasheed Ajagun, whose side was relegated to the National Division I League at the end of last season, described the situation as a drawback for the Premier League.
Ajagun also called for thorough investigation into the result and proffered relegation as punishment if both clubs are found guilty.
“The result came as a shock to us (at Nasarawa United) because we played Zamfara United during the season and we knew how they play. But the football administrators should investigate that result and if they find the clubs guilty, I think they should be relegated so that any other club thinking of doing same will caution themselves,” he said.

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