The League Management Company, governing body of the Nigeria Professional Football League has been declared illegal by the Federal Government.
The announcement was made through a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ismaila Abubakar and made available to SavidNews on Thursday.
SavidNews understands the development is one of the fallouts of the meeting of the sports Minister with the NPFL club owners/representatives recently at his office at the National Stadium, Abuja.
The creation and inauguration of the League Management Company on December 27, 2012 was approved by former Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi, following years of litigations and crisis among the stakeholders of the elite football league, with some explanation.
“The style of recruiting the managers of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, where club managers come together at Annual General Meeting to elect the league managers, necessitated the introduction of LMC,” he explained.
“It was clear that the process of recruiting the managers of the league was faulty. When you have club managers coming together in an annual convention to elect people who should manage the league, then you should know that things were wrong. There is nowhere in the world where this is still happening in the 21st century, especially when you are talking about market orientation. So, what we did was to first of all introduce this market orientation because the league is a great source of revenue and employer of labour,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
Nine years later, the Federal Government through the Sports Ministry under the leadership of minister Sunday Dare has announced the withdrawal of its licence to the LMC, with immediate effect.
“In view of the several unpleasant incidents regarding the management of the Football League, specifically, the declaration of the National Football League (NFL) as an illegal body by the Court; the status of the League Management Company (LMC), the NFL’s successor-in-title being outside the purview of the Statutes of the NFF; the Federal Government is constrained to withdraw its recognition of the LMC as the operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League, with immediate effect,” the statement read.
“This decision has become necessary because of the obvious aberration (which is at variance with our football statutes or the laws of the land) whereby a private company is GIFTED the mandate to manage or run the league indefinitely, without the full involvement of and leadership by the clubs, and devoid of any process to monitor the progress and development of the game.
“Sequel to the above, and in order to rescue our domestic football from total collapse, the BOARD OF THE LMC AND THE LMC AS A BODY WOULD NO LONGER BE RECOGNISED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS OPERATOR OF THE NIGERIAN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
“To avert further chaos in our domestic football, the NFF is advised to immediately withdraw the Licence given to the LMC and, in the meantime, set up an Interim Management Committee (IMC), to include the current Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the LMC to oversee the affairs of the League until a proper Professional League Board is constituted in accordance with the Statutes of the NFF.
Meanwhile, the leaderships of the Nigeria Football Federation and the League Management Company are yet to react to the development since the receiving the notice of the Federal Government.
Following the FG advice, it will remain to be seen how the NFF and LMC will react to the matter, with fresh elections in few days and slated for Benin, with the current board tenure expiring on September 30.