Monday, July 27, 2009

‘NPL Chiefs Have Should Been Suspended’

The Concerned Followers of the Glo Nigeria Premier League (COFGLOPREL) has said that two board members of the Premier League board in Nigeria should have been suspended following the scandalous 9-0 score-line between Zamfara United and Kaduna United.
On June 14, Zamfara United had defeated Kaduna United by 9-0 on the last day of the 2008/2009 season of the Premier League to retain its status as a top-flight side in the country’s league amid controversial circumstance.
However, COFGLOPREL through its president, Akeem Oyetunde, said since investigation into the matter was ongoing that the vice chairman and member of the NPL, Shehu Gusau and Sabo Babayaro, should have been handed suspensions until an inquest into the matter was completed.
Oyetunde’s call for the suspension of the two executive board members of the NPL is due to their positions at both clubs. While Gusau is General Manager at Zamfara United, Babayaro holds the position of chairman at Kaduna United.
The body also believes that the closed-door style adopted by the investigation panel set up by the NPL smacks off suspicion, as allowing the media to cover the sitting would have been appropriate and transparent.
The president of COFGLOPREL also wants an independent body to be set up concerning investigating the alleged match-fixing between Kaduna United and Zamfara United.
"An independent panel should be set up, that is members from outside league board. The panel set up by the NPL is being discredited by us because, how can the panel that constitute NPL members investigate a match that involves teams that have their vice chairman, Alhaji Shehu Gusau and Alhaji Sabo Babayaro as chairmen?
"Alhaji Gusau and Alhaji Babayaro should be suspended pending when the new panel we requested for finish their investigation. The investigation panel sitting in secret is a source of worry, it means they are not transparent, they should have allow pressmen to witness their sittings and get first hand information on the happenings and how the investigation is being done,” he said.
The group also called on the Premier League sponsor, Globacom Nigeria Limited, to pull out of its contractual agreement with the NPL if it fails to relegate Zamfara United and Kaduna United for their roles in the outcome of the scandalous result on June 14.
"We are calling on Globacom, the Nigeria Premier League title sponsor to force the NPL and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to sanction the two clubs, Zamfara United and Kaduna United, by relegating them to the Division I League or withdraw their sponsorship from the league as it will tarnish the name of their company which goes along with the league,” said the group‘s leader.
But it appears that the call of the group is coming behind schedule as the report and recommendation of the investigation panel has been submitted to the NPL concerning the match.
At the same time, the NPL has officially declared that Akwa United, Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) Football Club, FC Abuja and Nasarawa United have been officially relegated to the National Division I League during its annual congress in Makurdi.

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