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Adelabu slams minister as FG declares LMC illegal

By Gowon Akpodonor
10 September 2022   |   2:52 am
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has carpeted Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, describing as ‘unnecessary’ a declaration by the Federal Government, yesterday, that it is withdrawing its recognition of the League Management Company ...

Adegoke Adelabu

Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu, has carpeted Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, describing as ‘unnecessary’ a declaration by the Federal Government, yesterday, that it is withdrawing its recognition of the League Management Company (LMC), as operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Ismaila Abubakar, yesterday, stated that government is constrained to withdraw its recognition of the LMC, as the operator of the NPFL 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 a 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.

“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.”

Abubakar’s statement added: “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.”

To Adelabu, a sports scientist, such declaration by the Federal Government is unnecessary, particularly at this point when all attention should be on the NFF election.

Adelabu, who played club football with IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan, told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that the Sports Minister, Dare, was slow in dealing with problems confronting the nation’s sports.

“Why should the Federal Government wait for so long? The LMC has been there over the years, and if the Sports Ministry had any problem about its operation, it ought to have taken this step long ago. I don’t know what is behind this move, but it clearly shows that those in-charge of our sports don’t know how and when to handle issues confronting Nigeria sports,” Adelabu stated.