Signs of cracks in the empire of the Nigeria Football Federation became visible, as five clubs of the Nigerian National League defied the directives issued by the Amaju Pinnick’s led body to go for a Super 8 playoff game in Aba.
The Emergency committee set up by the NFF fixed December 19-23 for the Super 8 playoff that will produce 4 teams to join in the next season’s Nigeria Professional football league next year. The NFF had threatened to take disciplinary action against clubs who failed to carry out its directives on the Super 8.
However five side refused to honour the order, as they boycotted the showpiece in Aba. This has been preceded by the resignation of the Chief Executive Officer of the NNL, Bukola Olopade two weeks ago following undue interference from the 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.
In bid to cover up for the failed exercise, the NFF yesterday issued a letter to the NNL to fix a new date not later than 3rd January for the event. The NFF also issued letter to League Management Company (LMC) to begin proceedings for the commencement of the premier league on the 13th of January.
In a bid to legitimize their action, the NFF claimed the NNL organized lacked officials for the event, as they were depleted.
“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).