A majority of clubs are set to stay away from Thursday’s NPL congress in Kano. A check showed that as many as 15 clubs led by last season’s runners-up Enugu Rangers have opted out of the congress.
Other clubs who have vowed not to be in Kano are Sharks, Dolphin Lobi Stars, Heartland and Enyimba.
Rather than going to Kano, the chairmen of these clubs will instead meet in Abuja tomorrow.
The clubs said among other things that Kano is not safe and is not a neutral ground as they were favoured to win the league this past term.
They are also not comfortable with a December 21 kick-off date for the league because it is too close to the Christmas holidays.
Clubs equally maintain they wish for a resolution of vexed issues concerning the sponsorships of the league.
The disapproval of the clubs may also not be unconnected with the controversies surrounding the determination of last season’s champions Kano Pillars after a delayed expulsion of Ocean Boys for failing to honour a minimum number of matches.
“We are not going to Kano. Instead we are going to Abuja,” a furious Rangers general manager Ozor Paul informed MTNFootball.com.
“We demand a neutral venue for the congress because Pillars are playing in the league and favouritism could come to play.
“We are also concerned about our safety in Kano.
“And since we elected the board, we have the right to call the shots.”
However, Pillars spokesman Idris Malikawa countered, saying those who are planning to stay away from Kano are anti-football and do not wish for the unity of Nigeria.
“We are ready to host the congress on Thursday but we are also aware that some clubs have threatened to stay away from it,” Malikawa said.
“We view their decision as anti-football and anti-Nigeria because we have held congresses in places like Ilorin and Bayelsa, where NPL clubs were based. So why are they objecting against Kano hosting the congress?
“We expect them to have a quick rethink and come down so that we could all sit and discuss how best to move our league forward.”