x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Nigeria Premier League denies it has court order to suspend play

Despite rumours of a court injunction ordering play suspended, Nigeria Premier League organisers said play matches would continue this weekend.

The operators of Nigeria’s Premier League on Tuesday said that matches would go ahead this weekend, despite rumours of a court injunction preventing fixtures from taking place.

Media reports said a judge in the central city of Jos ordered games in the top division to be stopped pending the hearing of a complaint by a disgruntled fan whose team had been banned from starting the new season for failing to meet licensing requirements.

The League Management Company (LMC) barred Nembe City and Giwa FC from playing because they could not produce a bank guarantee of 100 million naira ($600,000, Dh2.2m) each nor agree to pay every player a minimum 150,000 naira per month.

“We have become aware of a suit filed at the Plateau State High Court, Jos, by one ‘Mustapha Abubakar of Jos’ on the grounds that he had been denied rights to enjoy the league after purchasing Giwa FC match ticket(s) worth 5,700 naira from a certain ‘Funky Odigie’,” said LMC chairman Nduka Irabor.

“It is on record that a similar case has been filed by this same Funky Odigie in a Federal High Court making various claims which the LMC has since responded to through our lawyers.

“We reiterate with all sense of responsibility that there is no order stopping the league.”

The current season finally started earlier this month, after being dogged by delays, notably over wrangling between clubs and the LMC a about the new licensing terms.

Most of Nigeria’s club sides are owned by state governments. Because of financial constraints, the league has agreed to cover registration fees and insurance premiums.

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