Fixtures of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) would continue to hold as scheduled, according to a statement by the League Management Company (LMC) released on Friday.
The LMC said it was, among several other grounds, relying on the motion filed for stay of execution of Mr. Justice I.I Kunda’s latest order made in disregard of the notice of appeal filed against his first order.
The league body also stated in addition to the stay of execution filed, that it also filed a notice of appeal against the order of the Plateau State High Court, Jos, stopping matches of the NPFL until full compliance with the earlier interim order of the court directing the reinstatement of Giwa FC to the league and rescheduling of matches for the club.
It also raised the question on how the judge found an urgency in fact as required by law to make the first interim order ex-parte three months after Giwa FC was expelled from the league under the League Rules, for failing to play three consecutive matches.”We cannot accept that these multifarious and incalculable interests can be held to ransom and subjected to the whim of an individual with no connection, whatsoever, with the operation of the League,” the LMC said on why the league cannot be stopped.
The League body expressed surprise that the Judge will make the orders even after it has been brought to the court’s notice through a written affidavit that Giwa FC has written the LMC stating categorically that it never mandated the plaintiff or anybody to sue on its behalf.
“This letter from Giwa FC is a restatement of the written undertaken of the club to abide by the rules and regulations governing the league and football in general and, not to take football matters to the ordinary court.
“By the written undertaking, the Club states that it should be considered that it has voluntarily withdrawn from the League and organised football activities if it takes any football matter to the courts for adjudication, rather than the internal dispute resolution mechanisms provided by the Rules, including the right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS),” the league manager further stated.
From a business and commercial standpoint, the league body drew attention to several written and informal contracts on which the league is built and that these contracts bind several interests and interrelationships that make for smooth operation of the league.
It went on to cite the return of NPFL fixtures to the Maiduguri Township Stadium, home of El-Kanemi Warriors as a critical positive contribution of the league in demonstrating that the Federal Government has achieved huge success in containing the Boko Haram insurgency which ravished most of North Eastern Nigeria since 2012.
The LMC, therefore, assured the public that it would remain resolute in ensuring that the NPFL, the flagship of Nigeria football, is operated and managed in accordance with the Framework and Rules of the League and other football governing rules.