At the moment, there is no love lost between Lobi Stars football club of Makurdi and the NPFL Club Owners Association over the decision to end the 2019/2020 season using the Point Per Game, PPG, mechanism.
On Sunday, June 21, 17 out of the 20 NPFL clubs in a virtual meeting voted to cancel the 2019/2020 league season.
They also decided that there should be no relegation and no promotion to the NPFL.
While Rangers voted in favour of Super 6 playoff based on PPG and no relegation, Lobi Stars and Akwa United abstained from voting as they alleged that the decision was taken to favour Enyimba FC.
It is imperative to note that PPG, points per game entails dividing the total number of points obtained by a club by the number of matches played.
Enyimba FC had five outstanding matches to play before the league was suspended on March 18 with 25 matches played.
Therefore, the bone of contention is that before the league was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Plateau United, Rivers United and Lobi Stars were the top three clubs but the use of PPG has helped Enyimba FC and Rangers to leapfrog both Rivers United and Lobi Stars to second and third positions and are now handed the two continental tickets.
Consequently, Lobi Stars have since protested against what they called illegality perpetrated by the Club owners in connivance with the League Management Company, LMC to favour Enyimba FC which they accused of deliberately accumulating outstanding matches to gain undue advantage over their opponents.
The former champions also called on the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare to intervene in the ‘injustice’ meted out to them.
The club in a statement signed by their Media officer, Mr. Austin Tyowua said “This charade has brazenly exposed us as what seemed non negotiable has been twisted in broad day light because of an attempt to place an anointed club on the continental representation list.
“We hereby call on the Minister of Sports and The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to disregard the charade displayed by the club owners in an attempt to perpetrate the PPG illegality, look at the merit of the matter and make sure a fair and conventional option is arrived at.”
However, in a swift reaction, the Club Owners secretariat yesterday lashed out at the management of Lobi Stars saying the club ‘stop vomiting rubbish’.
The Club Owners in addition expressed disappointment and threatened to sanction the chairman of Lobi Stars, Mr. Mike Idoko for leaking its memo.
The club Owners in a statement said “Secondly the online voting process conducted by the NPFL Club Owners Association of Nigeria on the options was an internal exercise of the body, which we understand was leaked by Lobi Stars FC boss to the media, to discredit the association and the process.
“We are still marvelled at how his Media Officer was able to access our internal memos. The necessary sanctions await him in line with the disciplinary rules of the association.”
The association, therefore, concluded that Lobi Stars are crying foul simply because PPG which it said is a standard process to determine games and to ensure sporting fairness didn’t favour them to get a continental ticket.