The Proprietor of Bimo FC of Lafia, Mr Chinedu Okoye has faulted the decision of League Management Company (LMC) to end the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season with about 13 matches to play.
Okoye who is aspiring to become the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) stated this on Thursday in Abuja, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Okoye also unfolded his six-point agenda, ahead of the forthcoming board election.
Tidesports source recalls that an emergency joint consultative meeting of the 20 NPFL clubs and the LMC met in Abuja in August and declared the 2017/2018 league season concluded after 24 matches.
The meeting said that the decision was against the backdrop of the adverse circumstances in the administration of football in the country, which resulted in the indefinite suspension of league, leading to huge fixture congestion for both league and cup competitions.
The decision meant that none of the 20 NPFL Clubs would be relegated to the lower league, while four would be promoted from the Nigeria National League (NNL) to bring the number of the NPFL Clubs for the 2018/19 season to 24.
But Okoye said that the termination of the NPFL with 13 games still remaining, while teams were separated from each other with just few points, can best be described as ‘match fixing.’
“This is the first time in the history of Nigeria football where the league was concluded with 13 matches to go.
“Four people just sat down and decided to award Lobi Stars FC the NPFL title.
“We all know that we have a problem; it is only in Nigeria that you know the winner of the league from the beginning of the season. We have to stop this,” Okoye said.
According to Okoye, time has come when Nigerians should find out how football especially the leagues are run in the country.
Okoye said if elected president, he would tell Nigerians what the football secretariat got from sponsors annually.
“There is sponsorship money from coca cola and other big companies; you cannot run NFF like a cabal or your father’s property because it has a mandate to develop football in Nigeria.
“NFF collects 4.3 million dollars every year from FIFA for the development of football in Nigeria including the payment of state Football Associations, as well as female football but unfortunately, these monies get into individual pockets.
“Is that the way to grow? No. We don’t need NFF president that will go and watch Arsenal when his national team is playing a friendly game; that is what we have currently in Nigeria, but it has to stop.
“I am talking about transparency and accountability in the NFF and I will be ready to answer anybody that will come to me to know how much comes into NFF and how much goes out.
“In this current administration, you dare not ask because if you do, you are pushed out the following day,” Okoye added.
The NFF presidential aspirant noted that the annual financial grant from FIFA was basically meant for the development of football at the grassroots with FA chairmen taking the driving seats and not to be spent on frivolities.
He said: “There is no facility and there is no age grade competition in Nigeria. Children from age eight to 18 don’t have any competition.
“Again the issue of doping in our games has to stop. If I become the NFF President, the people that dope will have no place in our sport.
NAN reports that election into the executive committee of the NFF is scheduled to hold on Sept. 20, according to the amended timetable of the Sani Katu-led electoral committee.
Athletics: Okagbare Begins Preparation For Tokyo 2020
Blessing Okagbare, yesterday started her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the National Trials.
The opening day of the Tokyo 2020 National Trials will see Okagbare competing in the 100m against highly rated Grace Nwokocha
Okagbare, the 8th time national champions is the favourite to win the event again, but Grace Nwokocha remains one of her biggest threats.
The American-based track queen won the championship from 2009 to 2014 and returned to win the 2016 edition after missing out in 2015.
Despite her qualification for the Olympics, Okagbare will be hoping to continue her winning streak and go to the Olympics in high spirits.
Apart from the 100m finals expected to take place in the afternoon, there will be shotput men final with all eyes on Chukwuebuka Enekwechi.
LAA Holds Lucrative Track Meet, Next Week
The Lagos State Athletics Association has announced it would be holding a lucrative Athletics Meet on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli, who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship, made the disclosure on Wednes-day even as he revealed that arrangements were in top gear to have an elite cast of athletes in the one-day meet.
According to Alli, the Lagos Open Athletics Championship will simultaneously serve as a qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
“This is another fantastic window for those seeking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as well as those seeking quality competition to stay in shape for the Olympics,” Alli said.
“The Lagos State Athletics Association, which is one of the most vibrant in the country, is out to organise a world-class event that would be the talk of the town as we count down to Tokyo,” he added.
The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship include, the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters and 100 meters.
There would also be quality action in the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been pencilled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Champion-ship.
Organisers have assured that the top three finishers across all the events will receive handsome prizes for their efforts.
S’ Falcons Bow To World Champions
The Super Falcons of Nigeria lost 2-0 to world champions, USA, in their final Group game at the 2021 Summer Series in Texas, USA.
The result means the African champions failed to win any of their three matches at the invitational tourna-ment, drawing one and losing the other two.
Kristen Press gave the Americans the lead on the stroke of half time, and before Lyn Williams killed Falcons hope of getting a draw with the second goal on the dot of 90 minutes.
With the victory, the world number one has now gone 42 games without tasting a defeat .As for the Falcons, the aim of participating in the Summer Series was to prepare them for a crucial 2022 African Women’s Champion-ship eliminator against perennial rivals, Ghana in October.
The African Women’s Championship will serve as qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
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