The Chairman of the Interim Management Committee( IMC) Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye has decided to open up on their rift with the Nigeria Professional Football League chairmen.
Tensions have built up between the IMC and Clubs Chairmen in the last 24 hours as the football body decided to have the draws for the 2022/2023 league season on Wednesday.
While speaking on Kennis Radio on Monday morning, the former Sunshine Stars of Akure explained the mandate they got from the Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF) to end the league by May 2023.
“We met with the club chairmen twice and we told them that we have the mandate to finish the league in May to align with the International calendar so Nigeria will not be left behind among the nations in terms of football activities.
We told them to pick any format of their choice they came back and said they want the league to end in July and gave us 2 options.
The first option, was the league will end in July and when the CAF ask for representatives we should give them the top 4 at the time they ask for the list. But we said how can we nominate teams that will represent us without finishing the league that will not be good for us, and also top 4 teams we pick might not even be among the top 4 teams by the time we end the league that means we gave slots to teams that did not merit it.
The second option is that for those clubs that represented us last season we should give them the automatic ticket to go again.
We said how can we do this? Give a slot without competing?
We told them we want competition and a league that will finish in July.
They said we should go to the NFF, but NFF insists we should finish the league by May which means we should go for an abridged league, by calculation, we will not finish this league if we go full-blown.
The election year is also 2023 we don’t want to risk the lives of our footballers by travelling during the election.
We will have the draws by the 28th of December and the league will start on the 8th of January, before then we will give support to the clubs.
I have also served as a club chairman with Sunshine stars and I knew what it takes, except for Remo Stars and Doma United all other clubs are owned by the government.
The issue is that the longer they play, the longer they asked for more money from the government”, he said.