The Rivers Sports Commissioner, Boma Iyaye, says the state-owned Rivers United FC have not reached any agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The club are at loggerheads with NFF and the League Management Company (LMC) over the usage of the Point-Per-Game (PPG) system to determine the top finishers in the 2019/2020 NPFL season.
The Port Harcourt-based clubside were declared third-place finishers after the competition by the LMC, while they have instead insisted they should have been declared second-place finishers.
Iyaye in a statement on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, issued by Daniel Nwankwoala, the Sports Ministry’s Press Officer, said the club would not accept what they termed “injustice”.
He said it was untrue that Rivers United had agreed on a deal with the NFF to accept whatever decision which came out of the ongoing intervention in the imbroglio by the Federation
“At no time did the Ministry or officials of Rivers United concede to the NFF or the LMC on their protest for a second place on the NPFL table.
“The insinuations being made in the media do not reflect the true position of what transpired at a virtual meeting with the NFF,” Iyaye said.
He said there was a virtual meeting which involved him, NFF President Amaju Pinnick, LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko, Ministry of Sports’ Permanent Secretary Honour Sirawoo and the club’s General Manager, Okey Kpalukwu.
“We only looked at the club’s position to the NFF and LMC. Rivers United did not at any time agree with the NFF on anything and that definitely is not what transpired at the meeting.
“During the virtual meeting, there were lots of arguments on our stand, which is that we remain in the second position which we rightfully deserve,” the Sports Commissioner added.
He then urged both the NFF and LMC to “obey their own rules” which guide the NPFL.
Iyaye disclosed further that during the virtual meeting, there was also a discussion about how the LMC used an inconclusive head-to-head rule which they believed ran contrary to the rules.
“We x-rayed the situation in other leagues across the world, in the realisation that FIFA and CAF do not interfere in the domestic operations of its affiliates.
“So, Rivers United will not accept injustice, we are ready to pursue this matter to any length. The rules must be followed and NFF knows what to do.
“Pinnick said he was consulting with FIFA and CAF, but we cannot accept injustice and it will be vigorously pursued,” he stated.(NAN)