By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria


The management of Nigeria National League, NNL side, Shooting Stars Sports Club, 3SC of Ibadan, has called on the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to allow justice and fairness prevail in its final decision making on the ongoing debate on how to end the 2019/20 season.

In view of the resolution by clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), calling for the cancelation of the entire season including that of the Nigeria National League (NNL) and other leagues, the club has registered their rejection of the move.

This was stated in a release by the club Media Officer, Tosin Omojola.

“To put the record straight, we state unequivocally, that 3SC as a club, has no business dabbling into the issues of the NPFL, which is a separate league on its own.
NPFL clubs’ decision to end the season, using the Point Per Game (PPG) format to determine who wins the league and which teams pick continental tickets, is none of our business.
In fact, we don’t have any issue about their decision not to relegate any club, a decision, they might have taken for reasons best known to them.
However, our concern is centered on the resolution of the LMC or NPFL to call for the cancelation of the 2019/20 season. of the NNL.
We wish to state categorically here that, since the NNL is not an appendage of the NPFL, it has no right whatsoever to take any decision on the running of the NNL.
Therefore, approving the proposal of the NPFL by the NFF, is unreasonable, disrespectful and infringing on the right of clubs in the NNL.
We therefore reject in totality the proposal of the NPFL, which means that no team will be promoted into the premier division.” The statement read.

“The NFF should know, that giving its nod to the proposal, portends great danger for the Nigerian league, considering the fact that NNL clubs are also part of the league and therefore, deserved to be carried along in decision making as stakeholders.
We regard the proposal of canceling the season as inhuman, unfair and high level wickedness as it showed that those behind it are less concerned about the 42 clubs participating in the NNL.
For instance, 3SC as a club, started preparing for the 2019/20 season since a year ago and you will recall that the season did not start until the tail end of October.
In preparing for the season, human efforts and huge resources were involved. We are therefore irked that canceling the season, will amount to waste of human efforts and financial resources, pumped in by the financier of the club (the Oyo State Government).
We wonder why and how the risk of embarking on rigours and tortuous journeys to different parts of the country, with attendant insecurity in some places, coupled with tax payers money spent on the club by its financier, were not considered by the apostles of NNL cancelation.
We want to bring to your notice that 3SC , have not stopped paying our players since the league went on break in December and even despite the economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As I am writing this, our players are already getting alerts for the salary of the month of June.
In addition, how do we go about the money spent on securing the services of players from other clubs, securing licenses through the registration of the players, as well as huge money spent on officials, staff and other logistics for the season. Should we just allow all these to go down the drain?
We sincerely believe that common sense should prevail.”

The statement also gave suggestions to NFF as regards how promotion from NNL to the NPFL can be achieved given the acceptance of PPG as means of ending the 2019-2020 NPFL.

“As it is, we are of the opinion that the NNL season and brouhaha surrounding the whole issue can be settled through any of the following formats.
1. If the NFF eventually approves or accepts the use of PPG in the NPFL, same can be applied in the NNL
2. A playoff of the two top teams in each group of the NNL can be organized to determine the four clubs that will be promoted to the NPFL and
3. Since the NPFL clubs have agreed that no team will be relegated, we can have a 24 team format just like we had it in the 2017/18 season.
We are appealing to the NFF to toe the path of honour, honesty and transparency in taking a decision that would be acceptable to every stakeholder in the Nigerian league, which of course include clubs in the NPFL, NNL, Nationawide League One, NLO and the Nigeria Women Premier League, NWPL for the good of the game and for the sake of fair play, which is the slogan of the world football governing body, FIFA.
It will do the country’s league good, if the Sport Ministry and other relevant bodies concerned can allow justice and fairness to be the order of the day in order to save our football from kiosk.” The statement concluded.

It should be noted that the 2019-2020 NNL is yet to resume since December 2019 when the league went on Christmas/New Year Break, long before the outbreak of COVID-19 with some clubs playing three games while others played five games before the league came to a halt.


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