31st October, 2013
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has flatly rejected a declaration by owners/managers of clubs in the Nigeria Premier League that they have sacked the League Management Company (LMC), which the NFF inaugurated last year to administer the elite division of Nigeria’s domestic football.
Rising from its meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, 30 October, the club owners/managers had declared in their communiqué: “The meeting emphasized on the expiration of the tenure of the LMC in line with the terms of reference given to them by the NFF.
“The meeting specifically thanked the chairman and members of the LMC for their efforts in organising the just-concluded league as well as their several innovations and suggestions on the way forward and wished them well in their future endeavours.”
However, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, stated emphatically that the League Management Company remains in place.
Speaking from the United Arab Emirates where he is with the Golden Eaglets as the youngsters aim to make Nigeria the first country to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup four times, Maigari insisted that the LMC was inaugurated by the NFF, granted license by the NFF to administer the Premier League on its behalf and can only be sent packing by the NFF.
“I am shocked to hear about a meeting of club owners/managers where they reportedly told the LMC to hand over to the Secretariat of the League. That is not within their purview; it is the responsibility of the NFF to determine the fate of the LMC.
“The LMC has done very well within the past 10 months to reposition the Premier League, and they deserve commendation. The club managers themselves admitted that the LMC has brought several innovations to the running of the League. Why would we want to throw all that away in a hurry?
“As far as the NFF, the supreme football-governing body in Nigeria, is concerned, the LMC remains firmly in place and will have the opportunity to continue its good works for a period to be determined shortly,” he said.
Maigari called on the club owners/managers to be focused on improving the structures of their teams in line with the demands of professional football, rather than get sucked into illusory political manoeuvrings and hysteria.
“Sincerely speaking, the NFF will always accord the club owners/managers their regard and we see them as critical stakeholders in the development of the game in our country. But there is an architecture of authority, which is not horizontal. The NFF has prerogative on issues bordering on the running of the game in Nigeria and has not conceded this authority to any other group or body.
“Should the club managers have any grouse with the way the League is being administered, they should approach the NFF with their misgivings and we would resolve such matters, as we have done in the past,” Maigari said.