Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: NPL Congress Reaffirms Baribote Sack - Picks Feb 16 for League Kick-Off

The congress of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) yesterday reaffirmed its earlier decision last Wednesday to sack the Victor Baribote led-board and proposed February 16 as the kick-off date for the new season.

This is in sharp contrast with Monday's resolution of the NPL board to cancel today's planned congress, suspend its chairman and install his deputy as the acting chairman.

Announcing these decisions after the congress, attended by representatives of all the 20 premier league clubs and the three newly promoted clubs in Abuja yesterday, members expressed worry over the poor state of the NPL, executive rascality, gross incompetence and the inability of the Baribote led-board to secure sponsorship for the apex football league in Nigeria.

Consequently, the congress directed league's secretariat headed by acting executive secretary Tunji Babalola to run the affairs of the league body.

The congress also said the traditional pre-season tournament, the Super Four, will be hosted by Kano and reversed the expulsion of Ocean Boys from the league.

The ban on NPL executive Akin Akinbobola was also quashed, so also the lifting of the suspension of Okey Kpaloku of Sharks and Farouk Yarma of Gombe United, saying their suspension was in bad faith and not in line with NPL statutes.

The congress of the NFF in Port Harcourt tomorrow is expected to ratify these decisions.

The congress also had in attendance NFF executive committee members Shehu Adamu, Yahaya Kwande and Emeka Inyama in attendance as observers.

Our reporter report that the meeting of the league clubs was held under tight security at the Prixair Hotel in Zone 6, Abuja.

Speaking to reporters after attending the congress, spokesman of the NFF Executive Committee Chief Emeka Inyama said the NFF team was at the venue to observe proceedings in line with the directive of the NFF executive during their last meeting in Abuja.

"Our assignment here is very simple, in line with our communique in the last NFF Executive Committee meeting. Our assignment is simply to observe", Inyama said.

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