STOP ACTS OF VIOLENCE AT FOOTBALL MATCHES – NPFL Warns

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The NPFL Club Secretaries Forum of Nigeria have condemned in strong terms the acts of violence at league venues during major matches across the country.

A communiqué issued at the end of their meeting which was held at Sumed Suites & Hotels, Abuja, from 28-29th March 2022, applauded the swift implementation of disciplinary measures by the leadership of the League Management Committee LMC which are in line with the rules of the game.

It noted that such precautions will serve as an eye-opener to everyone of foreseeable repercussions in the event of any act of violence at our football facilities, while also serving as a significant deterrent to potential troublemakers in the vicinity of league games.

The forum urged MC to treat no erring teams as sacred cows when imposing sanctions, as that is the only sure way of creating stability in the league and attracting the attention of football fans all over the world.

According to the communiqué made available to ABIA ONLINE, the essence of the meeting was to review the ongoing 2021/22 NPFL Season praised the clubs and other stakeholders for their sacrifices in keeping the league afloat despite the league’s financial issues exacerbated by the state government’s economic crunches who are the teams’ primary financiers.

However, the forum urged the league’s governing body to make a continual effort in providing officials with basic care to strengthen their independence and impartiality in carrying out their duties on match grounds.

The forum lauded the enhanced officiating by the Nigerian Football Federation Referees Committee, Nigeria Referees Association, and all other officials but also urged the league management to temper their expectations from the clubs, given the burdens already placed on the clubs and the league’s sponsorship challenges, which are borne primarily by the clubs.

On the issue of sponsorship, the forum observed that while the league has gone four seasons without viable sponsorship, the clubs are aware of Betnaija sponsorship and other pockets of deals negotiated to LMC’s credit but still have not received benefits.

It read in part, “that clubs are yet to directly benefit from such sponsorship deals and hope that the second stanza will see such direct benefits to the clubs”.

The statement also noted that the forum examined the relationship between the clubs, the LMC, and the NFF, and recommended they work together more effectively to manage football issues that often impact the clubs, the league, and the Federation.

“The forum after a detailed review of the state of our national team’s line-up as paraded during the AFCON and world cup qualifiers calls on the leadership of the federation and the national team coaches to reconsider the old good days of richly involving the home-based league players as a way of encouraging the local league players as well as harnessing and showcasing their marketable talents to the world”.

“The forum appreciates the support of the club chairmen in the offices for their strives to keep the ship of the game sailing in the face of several odds and pledged to keep supporting their efforts administratively to do better in the tasks ahead while also appealing for the chairmen’s reciprocal support to the club secretaries to better move the course of the round leader game forward”.

The communiqué was jointly signed by Barr. Emeka Ugwuarua, Rangers Int’l FC; Abbati Sabo Abba, Kano Pillars FC; Mr Esiaba Ebere, Abia Warriors FC; Alhaji Ahmed Abdulrahman, Rivers United FC, for the Communique drafting committee and on behalf of the NPFL Club Secretaries Forum Nigeria.

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