By Raphael Ekpang
The Management of Plateau United Football Club of Jos has insisted that the team was cheated out of the promotion in the just ended 2013 Nigeria National League season. To this end, the club has vowed not to allow the issue to be swept under the carpet.
According the General Manager of the team, Mr. Bitrus Bewarang, “our team was cheated out of our promotion bid. We are insisting that there was a case of league fixing in the just concluded football season in the Nigeria National League. We said that Zamfara United was induced to withdraw from the League to give an undue advantage to some other teams. These facts were ascertained but, the leadership of the NNL has decided to do otherwise.
“They have refused to listen to the voice of wisdom. They went ahead to set up a committee which did not do a thorough investigation before coming up with their reports which exonerated the clubs of any wrong doing. This case was reported to the NFF who instituted another committee to take a second look at our grievances but before the committee could meet, the NNL has gone ahead to propose playing the Super Four tournament which shows that they have recognized the teams that fixed the league in Group A of the season.
“This is not acceptable to us, and my team would not rest until justice is done, and Plateau United is giving its rightful position in the Premier League. If our amateur clubs would be banned for life for coming out with bizarre results in a football match, why are they trying to pamper the professionals that are aware of the implications of league fixing,” he stated.
The former National Team coach ruled out the possibility of seeking redress in the civil court, but said that there are laid down procedures to seek redress in football which they hope to exploit.
Plateau United had six points deducted from their log after Zamfara United withdrew from League barely six matches to end the season, thereby giving Taraba United and Giwa FC an advantage to gain promotion. A situation that the Club Chairmen in the Group rejected that almost led to boycotting the remaining League matches before the intervention of the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari.
Pitch Awards: Organisers round off voting, nomination process
By Raphael Ekpang
Organizers of the inaugural edition of the Nigeria Pitch Awards, endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation, have disclosed that the voting and nomination process is in the final stages.
Speaking in Lagos on Monday, Chief Executive of Matchmakers Consult International Limited, Mr. Shina Philips, said the process, which began on 17th October, is directly handled by BDO Professional Services. BDO International is the fifth-largest accountancy network in the world, a worldwide professional services network of public accountancy firms, serving national and international clients.
He said, “A hundred nomination forms were sent out to one hundred respondents spread across the thirty six states of the federation. Over seventy per cent of the respondents are sports media personalities. The rest are made up of football administrators, coaches, ex-national internationals and supporters of football.
“There is at least one voter in each state of the federation. In addition, the forms were safely delivered by the Independent Nomination Collation Body. We are pleased with the responses we have received so far. This is a very clear indication that Nigerians are excited about the award.”
The Nigeria Pitch Awards, the first-ever Nigeria Football Awards to be endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation, will honour actors in all departments on the pitch of play, as well as referees, coaches, administrators, managers, players’ agents, sponsors and football-friendly State governments.
The inaugural edition is billed for Calabar, capital of Cross River State on Saturday, November, 16 hours after the Super Eagles’ final 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia in the same city.