Rivers United, NFF At Loggerheads Over PPG Verdict

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated August 19, 2020
Rivers United
A file photo of Rivers United logo


Rivers United have dispelled talks that a deal has been agreed with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to accept whatever decision that emanates from the ongoing intervention on the interpretation of the Points-Per-Game (PPG) verdict on the 2019/2020 football season.

Speaking during the inspection of the re-construction and re-grassing work at the main bowl and football training pitches of the Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, insisted that reports being circulated in the media do not reflect the true position of what transpired at a virtual meeting with the NFF.

“Rivers United did not at any time agree with the NFF on anything and that definitely is not what transpired at the meeting.

“During the virtual meeting, there were lots of arguments on our stand that we remain in the second position, which we rightfully deserve,” Iyaye told reporters in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.


FIFA’s Intervention?

In a recent interview with Channels Sports, President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, confirmed there was a virtual meeting where they discussed how to reach an understanding.

Expressing his opinion on the issue, Pinnick advised Rivers United to stop contesting the PPG verdict.

When asked if the Port Harcourt based club has a case, he responded, “I don’t think so.

“In our last executive committee meeting, the issue came out. We were meant to ratify the decision by the League Management because they had already made their decision based on extensive consultation and it’s in line with their rule book.

“But just for fairness, we decided at the executive committee meeting that we should, again refer it to the football committee headed by the first vice president and we gave them a mandate to deliver a report in the next few days.”

And it is that fairness that the NFF president mentioned that Rivers United wants.

The club management believes the PPG process was flawed and Mr Iyaye confirmed they would keep fighting for justice.

He said, “We called on them to obey their own rules which guide the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). We also talked about how the LMC used an inconclusive head-to-head, which runs contrary to the rules; we x-rayed the situation in other leagues across the world in the realisation that FIFA and CAF do not interfere in the domestic operations of its affiliates.”

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A file photo of NFF logo.

Providing more details from the virtual meeting, the NFF president is optimistic they will reach an agreement.

“We had a very interesting session and we also agreed that after all these consultations, especially with the football committee, if you believe you have superior argument, then why not?” Pinnick questioned.

He added, “I’ve also told them that if it means we write to FIFA for advice which I’ve already done, with FIFA’s advice, the football committee will look at it and we will harmonise all and present a final verdict.

“The Commissioner of Sports in Rivers State confirmed the credibility of what we are doing and whatever comes out, they will accept. And that’s the spirit, if you believe our argument is objectively superior, not subjectively superior, objectively and scientifically proven, then we believe you should allow it to fly.”


‘Our Position’

Channels Television reached out to the Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Boma Iyaye, and he refutes the comments of the NFF president.

“All he said wasn’t true. We stated our position and he said he will make further consultations and get back to us. We didn’t agree to any decision. Those are tricks.

“We do not have a problem with the points-per-game model but it should be implemented the right way. The NFF should respect article 2.9 of their rule book,” said the commissioner.

“Don’t make a decision to favour a particular party. We are seeking justice. They should do the right thing. We are ready to fight this to a logical conclusion,” he concluded.

Watch Video: NFF Insists Rivers United Have No Case On PPG Verdict