NFF directs NNL to hold playoffs to determine promoted clubs

Monsuru Rafiu, Ikorodu United - Sunday Enweche, Lobi Stars
The Football House has asked the lower league organisers to ensure the playoff to determine four promoted clubs to the NPFL is held

The Nigeria National League Super eight playoff will still go ahead after the Nigeria Football Federation ruled that the lower league body must conduct the conclusion of the season rituals to know the four promoted teams from the second-tier league.

The Annual General Assembly of the NNL had resolved that the eight teams that secured berths to the playoffs after finishing first and second respectively in their various groups but the decision was contested by the League Management Company which hinted that it only has provision for four promoted teams from the lower league.

The NNL executives and the LMC met with the First Vice President of the NFF over a week ago and both argued and made their submissions known to the Football House while awaiting the response of the NFF which will be sacrosanct to the two league bodies.

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A top official of the NNL, Bukola Olopade who broke the outcome of the feedback from the NFF disclosed that he was informed by the Chief Operating Officer of the lower league body, Lawrence Katken that the NFF made it known to him that he has been told that they must proceed with the playoffs to determine the four teams that will secure the promotion berths to the NPFL.

Olopade who had threatened to leave his post as the Chief Executive Officer of the NNL if the NFF failed to approve the decision of the Annual General Assembly of the lower league body also tendered his resignation to show that he was serious with his threat.

“Nigeria is a country blessed with so many capable hands, despite that, you picked me with the belief that I had the capacity to do a decent job and for that I am grateful. These past few days have thrown up a different kind of challenge to our football, in particular, the promotion of eight teams from the NNL to the NPFL,” Olopade told media.

“And in all of these, my stand has been based on the principle of common sense. I am sure you have read from a few social media for my strong opinion on this matter, but importantly, is the fact that I had told you of my intention to leave if the decision of the NNL Congress is not respected and all stakeholders sit down to seek solution to a situation that all caused especially the LMC.

“I woke up this morning of 8th December 2018 by a call from the NNL’s Chief Operating Officer (Lawrence Katken) confirming to me that the NFF has gone ahead to direct that there must be a playoff to promote only four teams. Mr President, I respect the decision of the highest body in football but I now humbly inform you first through this medium and subsequently through an official letter of my resignation from the position of the CEO of the NNL.

“Mt President, I once more thank you for the opportunity and also want to emphasize here that I have been very proud of your good work with football not only in Nigeria but in Africa and beyond, that feeling of pride for your excellent statesmanship in football remains with me as I wish you more fruitful years in your stewardship of football in Nigeria and the world at large.”