Nigerian Premier League: Warri Wolves Set For 2016

Warri WolvesThe management of Warri Wolves FC has commenced preparation for its participation in this year’s Nigerian Premier League (NPL).

Unveiling 14 new players for the season formed part of its preparation, amidst training and rehabilitation of the Warri stadium in Delta State.

Some of the newly unveiled players, Oladele Ajiboye and King Osange, also expressed optimisms that the football club would achieve great feat in the 2016 edition of the NPL.

Warri Wolves finished second in the just concluded GLO Premier League behind Enyimba FC of Aba.

In another development, the Delta Force team have come back after a long absence from the league.

Playing in the second division of the league for the first time, they have promised to do their best to get to the NPL.

The team’s coach, Napolion Aloma, appealed to the government for further assistance to help them achieve their goals.

I Will Not Congratulate Kano Pillars – Delta FA Chairman

The Chairman of Delta State Football Association, Amaju Pinnick, on Monday said that he would not congratulate the champions of the Nigeria Premier League, Kano Pillars, adding that he  respects the club but does not believe in “winning at all costs.”

Pinnick, who was speaking on Sunrise Daily, commented on a number of football-related issues particularly those involving poor media coverage of league matches, lack of credibility of Nigerian referees and Coach Keshi’s unpaid salaries.

The Kano Pillars have been celebrated for emerging winners at the recently concluded Nigerian Premier League.

Pinnick stated that although he respects the Kano Pillars for its huge investments in the players and entire club, he will not congratulate the club on winning the League and alleged that the club must have been involved in shady activities.

‘Winning must not come at all costs,” he said, adding that, there are a lot of dirty things in the league.

On the overall planning and execution of the League, the Delta FA boss commended the League Management Committee, LMC, for rescuing the league from a hopeless situation as there were no sponsors in its last two seasons.

He praised the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, leadership as well as the Sports Minister for assisting the committee to redefine the league but he raised issues of ‘hooliganism and terrible officiating.’

However, he averred that a functional synergy between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFA) and the LMC will bring a lasting solution to the problems facing the league.

He advocated that LMC be given more powers to enforce discipline in the league and in the teams which would stem the issue of hooliganism among players.

“The media coverage was also poor as up to 10 teams in a league do not have their games covered especially in the North, including Bayelsa United and Nembe City.”

“If Super Sports cannot go to those areas because of the security issues then it means players and officials cannot equally go to those places.”

Credible Referees

Pinnick also asked that LMC be given the authority to discipline referees as well because the questionable credibility of Nigerian referees is not only affecting the league but it reflects poorly on Nigeria’s image in the international football community.

“We are going to the World Cup. Nigeria will be struggling to bring one referee because of the credibility of Nigerian referees whereas countries such as Cape Verde, Burundi will have referees in such big games.

He disclosed that the President is keen on addressing the issue because it is also affecting him.

The committee will soon begin a ‘Friday Night Football,’ ‘Saturday Morning Football’ and ‘Monday Night Football’ programmes to encourage viewership.

On Keshi’s Salaries

He explained that a slash in the ministry’s budget may have resulted in the delay in Keshi’s salary and called on the National Sports Commission, Coach Keshi, as well as the leadership of the NFF to engage in dialogue as delayed pay will not motivate Keshi.

He also warned that such situation “can lead to other dirty things” such as players disrespecting coaches for collecting money from them.

“When you are not being paid, you must look for money to take care of your family,” he added.

He touched on other issues including the NFF President who he said should be commended for exceptional leadership.

NPL Interim Management Inaugurated, Baribote Heads To Court

The controversy plaguing the board of the Nigerian Premier League has been laid to rest, at least for now as a new 13-man interim management of the league was inaugurated yesterday.

The management will be responsible for the running of the affairs of the NPL, pending the election of a new board.

Corruption charges were brought against the head of the previous board; Rumson Victor Baribote as he was accused of misappropriation of funds and a lack of transparency and accountability which was held to blame for the failure of the NPL to attract sponsorship.

How the legal practitioner has decided to take his case to the Federal High Court despite his removal.

The committee will be headed by former member of the House of Representatives, Nduka Irabor and includes Nwankwo Kanu; NPL Secretary-General, Tunji Babalola; Mike Enahoro; Shehu Dikko; Modele Sarafa-Yusuf; Abubakar Nuhu Dan Buran; Kunle Elebute; Mike Idoko; former Secretary-General of the NPL Salisu Abubakar; chairman of Kaduna United FC Sabo Babayaro; chairman of Lagos State Football Association Seyi Akinwunmi and Ifeanyi Dike.

The new committee has been charged with organising the 2012/2013 season, which does not yet have an agreed start date, with reviewing all NPL contracts, with dealing with TV and sponsorship rights, developing strategy, reforming the League to achieve profitability and reviewing procedures for elections to the NPL board. It will also develop new standards for players contracts.

NPL Impasse:Sack of Baribote-led board the only option — Idoko

Mike Idoko; the Chairman of the six-man interim committee of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) said the option for the way forward in the Nigerian Premier League was the sacking of the former board chairman of the league body, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote.

And this was the decision of the 20 Premier League clubs.

He said that the former NPL board had failed in the development of the league, stressing that the gains made over the years by previous boards had been eroded with the administrative style of the sacked board, thereby stagnating the progress of the NPL, during the inaugural meeting in Abuja yesterday.

“We had to do this in the interest of the league and Nigerian football. Clubs used to benefit financially from the title sponsorship money and at a point we were fighting for increment. But in the last two seasons or so, the clubs have been made to bear the brunt of NPL’s inability to source for sponsors,” he said.

“We don’t have any problem with Baribote as a person but it’s glaring that his board failed and we have to move forward. Clubs spent heavily on match indemnities due to the inefficiency of the board under Baribote, while the players suffer because the little the clubs had were being used in covering the glaring inefficiency of the board.

Idoko further described the Baribote led-board that it lacked transparency and accountability, hence a window for the inability of the league to attract title sponsorship for the past two seasons, as he cited the hard work and transparency of other boards before the Baribote-led board, it will be recalled that

Idoko was part of the glory days of the NPL under Chief Oyuki Obaseki.

 

Emordi And Ofoedu Named Manager and Player of the Month

Okey Emordi and Chikeluba Ofoedu, both of Enugu Rangers have been picked as Manager and Player of February respectively by the organisers of the Naija Premier League (Naija PL) Bloggers Awards

The duo from Rangers were named as the best two performers in the month of February this week following the club’s six-game unbeaten streak.

In the race for the Manager of February, Emordi clearly brushed aside his counterparts from Kwara United (Tunde Sanni), Gombe United (Bernard Ogbe) and Enyimba (Austin Eguavoen) to emerge the winner of last month.

Emordi, who took charge at the Flying Antelopes at the start of this season after resigning at former champions, Enyimba last term, guided Rangers to three wins and three draws in February.

However, in the hunt for the Player of February award, Ofoedu and Mustapha Babadidi of Gombe United played themselves into the mix with four goals each for their clubs.

Ofoedu edged Babadidi by showing class and consistency, as he scored in the big games against Enyimba, Kano Pillars and Heartland.

Certificates of recognition will be presented to Emordi and Ofoedu by the organisers later in March.

The Naija Premier League Bloggers Award is organised by three top Nigerian football blogs – Naijapremierleague.net, Naijafootball247.com and Naijaligue.blogspot.com.

In January, Gombe United duo of Babadidi and Ogbe were named Player and Manager accordingly by organisers of the Naija Premier League Bloggers Awards.