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NPFL Concluding In China Is Fake News – Dikko

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated May 7, 2020

 

File: NPFL logo

 

The League Management Company have urged followers and fans of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to disregard fake news that suggested that the suspended 2019/20 season would be concluded in China.

The report claimed that Chairman of League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko disclosed the decision to a Lagos-based Radio Station.

But Dikko said he could not have said so after a recent online meeting of the LMC and Chairmen of the 20 NPFL Clubs which agreed on possible options to conclude the season.

“Why would I suggest that we will conclude the season in China with all the logistics nightmare and attendant cost this would entail”, began Dikko in reaction to the story and declared, ” this is an absurd attempt at fake news”.

The issue of making a decision on the suspended league has been a major discussion after the May 5th deadline that the Confederation of African Football gave to its affiliate members to present their plans of finalizing the current 2019/2020 season.

According to CAF, the action plan will enable them to establish an organisation plan for the inter clubs competitions.

In an interview with Channels Sports, Chairman of Abia Warriors, Emeka Inyama is of the opinion that continuing or ending the league is entirely up to the federal government of Nigeria.

”The clubs, LMC and NFF will need to get to an understanding and make a decision. We will be happy to associate with what will make the league popular and end well.

“Many have called for cancellation so the NFF and LMC can rebuild. Some want it to end, others want teams to be quarantined, play at a neutral venue, and decide the league.

”All sorts of options. Others asked for a toss of a coin, declare no champion but allow Plateau United to play continental football. It is not as easy as said, it requires deep thinking. Again, it is up to the government,” he stated.

On CAF’s deadline to clubs on finalising the league, Mr Inyama believes the governing body will understand if there is a delay because Covid-19 is a worldwide problem.

In Nigeria for instance, we have eased the lockdown. I can tell you there’s certainly going to be a spike in the figures in the next one or two weeks and that will put pressure on the government and the people.

These are the issues that must be considered, not selfish interest or favoritism. No matter what happens, football should be the winner and sports generally.

”On a final note, CAF is not saying today is the deadline to submit, they are saying tell us your plans on how you want to end the league. Covid-19 is not over, it is a global pandemic.

“CAF is not alien to what is happening in Madagascar, Kenya, and Ghana so we cannot be forced to do something. You must be alive to play football. Without life, there is no football”.

LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko corroborates same views, ”the decision reached at the meeting with Club Owners still stand and “we will continue to liaise with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Sports Ministry and relevant government agencies working on the COVID 19 pandemic for advice on when it is safe for football to return”.