Protest mars NWPL Super 4 tournament in Benin
The much-talked about Nigerian Women Football League (NWPL) Super 4 tournament ended yesterday in Benin City, Edo State capital with a protest by one of the participating clubs, Nasarawa Amazons, which accused the organisers of trying to rob them of the title.
Four clubs, Rivers Angels, Bayelsa Queens, Nasarawa Amazons and Delta Queens made it to the Super 4 at the conclusion of the 2016/2017 league. The Super 4 contest in Benin City was meant to produce the overall champions of the NWPL season.
After three round of matches, a round robin league, Nasarawa Amazons topped with seven points, following their victories against Bayelsa Queens and Rivers Angels, and a draw against Delta Queens. The seven points was enough to crown Nasarawa Amazons champions, but organisers of the Super 4 tournament, led by the chairperson of the NWPL, Aisha Falode decided to ‘keep blind eyes’ to the rules.
In a protest by the secretary of Nasarawa Amazons FC, Oliver .D. Akpoko yesterday morning addressed to the Chief Operating Officer, Nigeria Women Football League in Abuja as well as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick, the club said: “We wish to draw your attention to the fact that the 2016/2017 league season winner’s trophy should be handed over to us as the overall winners of the Super 4, before the ceremonial finals.
“This is based on the fact that we scored the highest number of points at the end of the round robin league, just as Bayelsa Queens, has been declared the third place winner. Our decision is informed by the news making rounds that the intended finals is supposed to produce the 2016/2017 league season winners as against the round robin super 4, which was concluded on October 12, where Nasarawa Amazons, came first with 7 points, Delta Queens, second with 5points, Bayelsa Queens third with two points and Rivers Angels fourth with 1 point.
“In as much as Rivers Angels and Bayelsa Queens did not play third place match and was awarded the third position based on the round robin matches played, then, there is no basis for Nasarawa Amazons and Delta Queens to play a competitive finals when positions are already determined after the round Robin League basis.
“Our position in this matter is that, since there will be no third place match, then there can’t be any competitive finals. We believe that all the teams should play equal number of matches. Please note that there can only be two formats in determining the overall winners of the league, if the league is played on an abridged format basis. It is either that the winners of one group plays the runners up of the other group and vice versa, or a round robin basis as is the case now where the team with the most points after the round robin matches is the winner of the league. In this case, it is Nasarawa Amazons.
“Please note that we are ready to play a ceremonial final today with the guarantee that we are declared the winners of the 2016/2017 league season. We arrived at this determination after several consultations with all stake holders of the Nigerian football,” the club stated.
Nasarawa Amazons later played the match under protest yesterday, beating Delta Queens 1-0 to lift the trophy.
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