Security concerns may stop Plateau, Sharks game

A team of Sharks players and officials have returned to Abuja from the outskirts of Jos where they were “almost forced” by the NPL to play a match in the troubled city.

The game between Plateau United and Sharks was rescheduled for Monday, January 10, 2011 but renewed fighting in the town between extremist Christian and Muslim inhabitants put the fixture in doubt once more.

An official of Sharks FC told naijafootball247.com on Saturday night that they had been ordered by an official of the Nigeria Premier League, NPL to proceed to Jos for the match despite security reports that mentioned renewed fighting.

“We really cannot tell what is happening. They want us to go for the match but we hear there has been renewed fighting in Jos with people being killed so how can we play a match in that place.

“But we will monitor the situation and see what happens,” the official said.

On Sunday, the Sharks team proceeded to Jos after being promised security escort but stopped at Bukuru, near Jos to meet a team of military personnel who advised them against going into the town.

“We heard a lot of conflicting reports from the military personnel on ground and we have decided to return to Abuja as we await further directive,” the Sharks official told naijafootball247.com.

But Plateau United’s head coach, Ndubuisi Nduka did not exactly share the sentiments of Sharks.

“All I can say is that the security forces in this town are on top of the situation and would have informed the NPL if they thought it was not safe to play a League game like they did in the case of Juth and Kano Pillars,” Nduka told naijafootball247.com.

“They requested for security escort at Bukuru and we made provisions for that. I even went there in our (Plateau United) club bus but that by time we arrived we heard they had returned to Abuja. I wouldn’t know why but I think they made a rash decision,” Nduka said.

Jos, the Plateau State capital have experienced a series of violent clashes in recent times the latest being the Christmas eve bombings that killed at least thirty people last month.

There were also reports of renewed fighting two days ago that left at least six people feared dead.
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