Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Legal Tussle Scuttles 2012/13 League Season

Unless a new legal framework that would guarantee more freedom and operational licence to the Nigeria Premier League is put in place, the 2012/2013 season may not commence before the end of the year as is widely expected.

Sunday Vanguard Sports gathered that the NPL as presently constituted, cannot continue to function because of some legal issues surrounding its status.

It could be recalled that Sam Sam Jaja, a former Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) president, challenge his disqualification to run in NPL elections in court two years ago.

Jaja wanted the court to determine the NFF and NPL's legality in line with Nigeria's 1999 Constitution.

Justice Okorowo of an Abuja High Court declared that neither the NFF nor NPL had any statutory recognition.

The court submitted that if any of these bodies continue to transact business under a name that is not recognised by law, they were doing such at its own risk.

This may not be unconnected with the order by the Nigeria Football Federation that stopped NPL's Annual Congress last week

Meanwhile, major stake-holder in the Nigerian Premier League and broadcast rights owners, Total Promotions have reaffirmed their commitment to the growth of the Nigerian league.

Amidst uncertainties surrounding the fate of Nigeria's topflight, chairman of the company, Niyi Alonge told media friends in an informal gathering in Lagos, Sunday that "the game must go on."

He suggested that "the NPL can operate under an interim body as could be permitted by law while the right things are being put in place," he said.

He said Total Promotions were up to date in their financial and legal obligations to the league body and had restricted their operations to the confines of the existing contract between them.

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