The Federal Government announced yesterday that it is withdrawing its recognition of the League Management Company (LMC) as operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League. Former Green Eagles winger Adegoke Adelabu has slammed Sports Minister Sunday Dare, calling the announcement “unnecessary” (NPFL).
According to a statement issued yesterday and signed by Ismaila Abubakar, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, the LMC is no longer recognized by the government as the NPFL’s operator, effective immediately.
“In light of the numerous unpleasant incidents involving the management of the Football League, particularly the National Football League’s (NFL) declaration as an illegal body by a Court; the League Management Company’s (LMC) status as the NFL’s successor-in-title being outside the NFF’s Statutes; the Federal Government is compelled to withdraw its recognition of the LMC as the operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League, with immediate effect.
“This decision has become necessary due to the obvious anomaly (which is at odds with our football statutes or the laws of the land) whereby a private company is GIVEN the mandate to manage or run the league indefinitely, without the full involvement and leadership by the clubs and devoid of any procedure to monitor the progress and development of the game,” the statement continued.
“Sequel to the foregoing, and in order to save our domestic football from complete collapse, the board of the LMC and the LMC as a body would no longer be recognized by the Federal Government, as operator of the Nigerian Professional Football League,” Abubakar said in his statement.
“The NFF is advised to immediately withdraw the Licence granted to the LMC and, in the interim, set up an Interim Management Committee (IMC), to oversee the affairs of the League until a proper Professional League Board is constituted in accordance with the Statutes of the NFF,” reads a statement from the NFF.
Sports scientist Adelabu believes that such a pronouncement by the Federal Government is superfluous, especially at this time when all focus should be on the NFF election.
Adelabu, who played club football for IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, complained to The Guardian yesterday that the Sports Minister, Dare, was taking too long to address issues affecting the country’s sports.
“What justifies the Federal Government’s prolonged wait? Since the LMC has been in place for some time, the Sports Ministry should have taken this action long ago if there were any issues with how it was being run. I don’t know what motivated this action, but it is obvious that people in charge of our sports are ill-equipped to manage problems that arise in Nigerian athletics, according to Adelabu.