Respite for Bayelsa, Inneh Queens, as NFF stops relegation in Women’s league
• Rivers Angels, Pelican battle for Champions of Champions trophy
TWO pioneer clubs in the Nigerian Women Premier League, Bayelsa Queens of Yenegoa and Inneh Queens of Benin City have been saved the agony of being relegated to the lower division. This follows a resolution by the board of the Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) that there would be no relegation in the just concluded season.
Both Bayelsa Queens and Inneh finished in the bottom of the league following series of poor results in the season. To avoid the embarrassment of being thrown into the lower division, top officials of the two clubs allegedly resorted to serious lobby of NFF officials in Abuja to save the situation.
Their prayers have been answered, as the NWPL said it would not relegate any club considering the small size of clubs (12) in the Women Premier League. The NWPL also took into consideration the situation with the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East sub-region, which prevented majority of the clubs from honouring their away games against Adamawa Queens.
Chairperson in-charge of Women Football on the board of the NFF, Dilichukwu Onyedimma, told The Guardian yesterday that two clubs would be promoted from the lower division to the premier league to bring the total number in the premier league to 14. The two promoted clubs are Robo Queens FC and Martins White Dove FC.
Meanwhile, it has been resolved by the NWPL board that there shall be the Champion of Champions tournament to decide the winner of the season between winner of the League and FA Cup.
Rivers Angels finished top of the 2013/2014 Nigeria Women Premier League with 39 points ahead of Pelican Stars who finished with 36 points, but the Nigeria Women League board says a clear winner is yet to be decided.
Rivers Angels also won the Federation Cup, beating Sunshine Queens 2-0 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
An official of Rivers Angels said yesterday that ideally they should be regarded as double champions of the season and rewarded with medals and two trophies for the two competitions, but they have just one trophy in their kitty.
The NWPL board resolved during its meeting held on Friday, January 23, 2015, in Abuja to review the 2013/2014 season that Rivers Angels will battle Pelican Stars for the Champion of Champions trophy.
The NWPL board has fixed March 31, 2015 as kick off date for the new season as against the former date of February 28, 2015.