Ogun Set To Return Gateway FC To NPL

OgunThe Ogun State government says it is determined to return its football club, Gateway FC, back to the Nigerian Premiership League (NPL) from its current National League.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Afolabi Afuape, gave the hint in Abeokuta, the state’s capital, in southwest Nigeria.

He also inspected the ongoing re-grassing of the Moshood Abiola International Stadium from the former AstroTurf to natural grass.

Apologising to the supporters of the club for their inability to make it to the elite stage, Mr Afuape said that the era of political players, which characterised the team was over.

He added that the open screening exercise aimed at selecting best players for the team had commenced.

The Commissioner also unveiled the plans of the State government towards ensuring successful outing for the Ogun State contingent to the forth coming National Sports Festival coming up in November this year.

Nigerian Footballers Lament Ill-Treatment By NFF

Members of the Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria (APFON) on Wednesday decried the hardship and deplorable welfare condition they have been exposed to, due to debts owed them by their various clubs.

The footballers also accused the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) of being responsible for their woes.

At a media briefing on Wednesday in Warri, the APFON Executive Secretary, Austin Popo, said the NFF “demonstrated gross incapability and helplessness in enforcing the decisions of the 2010 Arbitration Committee in the face of serious breach and non-compliance by the affected premier league and division one clubs”.

According to Popo, many of the footballers and their families have resorted to begging on the streets in order to keep bodies and soul together, while a few others have died leaving their families in abject poverty – like late Coach Kafaru Alabi (Elkanemi Warriors FC), Emma Agbo (Gateway FC), Benjamin Okafor and Monday Inabia Kalio (Sharks FC).

Popo said “Currently, the total award to coaches and players by the arbitration committee amounts to N264,203,500.00 (about $1.65m) while the undecided cases amount to N421,600,000.00 (about $2.63m)

He accused the National Executive Committee of the NFF led by Aminu Maigari of being insensitive towards the welfare of Nigerian footballers and coache. “We request the congress of the NFF to save the lives and careers of Nigerian footballers and coaches from imminent extinction, occasioned by the wilful disregard for the implementation of the relevant provisions of the NFF statutes and FIFA regulations”.

The footballers accused NFF of failing to invoke the sanctions on clubs who failed to comply with the 2010 decisions of NFF Players Status and Arbitration Committee in line with the relevant provisions of FIFA disciplinary code of 2011.

They also blamed the NFF for non-establishment of a National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC) which provides for equal representation of players and clubs and competent for employment related disputes between clubs and players.

This has allegedly led to undecided cases worth over N750 million; and non-establishment of a national regulation, governing the status and transfers of players within Nigeria Professional League clubs, amongst others.

Ogun inaugurates 11 man Gateway FC committee

An 11-man advisory committee that will support Gateway Football Club management in implementing its policies as well as provide direction has been inaugurated by the Ogun State Government.

Inaugurating the committee, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Olugbenga Otenuga said the revised advisory committee will also determine the club structure, organisation and its operations.

The committee headed by Mr. Adeola Adelanwa also has the former technical director of the Nigeria Football Association,Dr. Kashimawo Laloko as the vice chairman.

Other members are Chief Segun Odegbami (MON), Mr. Tunji Onatolu, Mr. Demola Makanjuola, Professor Seun Omotayo, Prince Niyi Olatidoye, Dr. Muyiwa Osuntolu, and Mr. Yomi Opakunle while the General Manager of the Club, Mr. Gboyega Okegbenro will serve as Secretary.

The committee will be accountable to the State commissioner for Youth and Sports.

Members will initially meet monthly; and when the team stabilizes, the committee will meet quarterly.

GatewayFC returned to the top level of professional football in Nigeria, the Nigerian Premier League in 2008 after being relegated in 2005 after a one year stint.