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.
Ordega’s Goal Inspires Victory For Chinese Club
Francisca Ordega was on target as Shanghai thrashed Wuhan 3-0 in a Chinese Women’s Super League encounter on Wednesday.
The Nigeria international scored her first Chinese Women’s Super League goal in a 1-1 draw with holders Dalian Quanjian on July 25.
At the Tazihu Football Centre, Wuhan was aiming to pip Shanghai for second spot but the visitors were the eventual victors.
The 25-year-old Super Falcons striker opened the scoring for the Hongkou Football Stadium outfit in the first half.
After the restart, Camilla and Yang Lina netted what was their first of the season to get on the scoresheet to seal the crucial away win.
In the battle for the second place, Shanghai kept their winning run with an emphatic 3-0 against Wuhan away from home. Camilla and Yang Lina scored their first goal in the season while Francisca Ordega got her third.
With her latest goal, Ordega has now scored three times in six games in the Chinese women’s top-flight on her debut season.
The result means Shanghai are second on the table on superior goals despite being tied on 13 points with Wuhan from six games.
They will take on seventh-placed Guangdong Meizhou in their outstanding match scheduled to be held on August 28.
In a related development, Asisat Oshoala scored twice for Barcelona in a 5-2 victory over her former club Arsenal in a high-profile pre-season friendly on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old was reuniting with her former side for the first time since she left in January 2017, after a season spent with the North London side.
Before her trip to England, she had scored four goals in the Spanish giants’ back-to-back warm-up wins over Amed [13-0] and Marseille [5-0].
With the first return to Meadow Park, Oshoala shone brightly as she fired the visitors in front after Patri Guijjaro cancelled Katie McCabe’s opener before half-time. Five minutes after the restart, the Nigerian extended the tally for Lluís Cortes’ side before Claudia Pina’s brace overshadowed Kim Little’s effort from the spot. With today’s brace, Oshoala has now scored six goals in three matches for the Liga Iberdrola side – fantastic form she will hope to take into the new season which begins on September 8.
Iheanacho Returns To Super Eagles For Ukraine Friendly
Nigeria has recalled forward, Kelechi Iheanacho to their squad for the international friendly against Ukraine in Dnipro on September 10, but there was no place for midfielder, John Ogu and goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi.
Coach Gernot Rohr is also without retired stars, John Obi Mikel and Odion Ighalo, but has handed first call-ups to Fortuna Dusseldorf, goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye and Glasgow Rangers midfielder, Joe Aribo.
The squad gives a view of Rohr’s plans for the next cycle of Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers, as he looks to build on the side that finished third at the recent continental finals in Egypt.
Leicester City’s Iheanacho and Benfica, defender, Tyronne Ebuehi are two players who return after failing to make the cut for that tournament.
Lille’s forward, Victor Osimhen, who has had a fine start to the season, has been included, along with new Monaco striker, Henry Onyekuru.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Heartland FC), Maduka Okoye (Fortuna Dusseldorf, Germany)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy), Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Benfica, Portugal), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal), William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy), Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany), Oluwasemilogo Ajayi (Rotherham United, England)
Midfielders: Alex Iwobi (Everton FC, England), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England), Joe Aribo (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland)
Falconets Depart For 2019 All African Games
The Nigeria U20 women’s team, the Falconets were expected to have flown out of the country for the 2019 All African Games women’s football tournament in Morocco yesterday.
The Falconets commenced training for the continental showpiece on July 8 and concluded their preparations with a 1-0 win over Squad One Football Academy 1-0 last Sunday.
Captain Monday Gift’s solitary effort was all Christopher Danjuma’s side needed to claim a morale-boosting win at the Fifa Goal Project pitch in Abuja.
It was the third win in a row for the team, with Gift on target in all the three warm-up games for the women’s championship scheduled to be held from August 17 to 29 in Rabat.
The U20 women’s side has been drawn against South Africa, Zambia and Cameroon in Group B and will hope to reclaim the gold medal the country last won in 2011.
Having ended their preparations, the Nigerian team will depart for Morocco on Wednesday and will begin their campaign against Basetsana at Stade Academie Mohammed VI on Saturday.
They will take on Cameroon at the same venue and time on Wednesday, August 21 before wrapping up their group phase campaign against Zambia three days later.
Udukobong Peter (Ibom Angels); Bashirat Amoo (Confluence Queens); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Gift Monday (FC Robo); Grace Igboamalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Folashade Ijamilusi (FC Robo); Dooshima Tarnum (Nasarawa Amazons); Zainab Olapade (Sunshine Queens); Esther Momoh (Confluence Queens); Akudo Ogbonna (Sunshine Queens); Catherine Kenneth (Rivers Angels); Patricia Innocent (Sunshine Queens); Christiana Obia (Osun Babes); Cynthia Aku (Rivers Angels); Omowunmi Oshobukola (Sunshine Queens); Precious Christopher (Confluence Queens); Rebecca Ajimuda (Edo Queens).
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