NPL deny Sharks, Heartland their rights

Sharks secretary, Cyril Dum Wite has told that they have been forced to play League matches despite a regulation that frees them from League games at this time.

A Nigeria Premier League article stipulates that any club with more than four players in the national teams can ask for their games to be postponed because they have been depleted.

PIC: Sharks General Manager: Okey Kpalukwu

Cyril Dum Wite told that they have 8 players in the national teams but were denied a request to have their games postponed.

“We actually wrote to them but the acting executive secretary of the NPL, Tunji

Babalola told me that they have to turn us down because they did not want the League disrupted anymore.

“He actually agreed that the rules exist but told me they would have to turn us down,” Wite said.

When reminded that Heartland FC had a request to have their games postponed granted by the NPL, Wite said that was no longer the case.

“Tunji told me that they rescinded their decision to grant Heartland a stay of games as well as Kano Pillars for the same reason. He even said they had returned two of our players so it should be better for us but even then it would mean we have six players in camp and should be allowed to stay off games for now,” Wite said.

Tunji Babalola agreed with that though there is actually an article in the League that allows clubs with more than four players to ask for their games to be postponed, they actually reasoned with the clubs to play on.

“The League started late so we cannot grant any one that request to have their games postponed based on the article that supports it,” Babalola said.

“If we keep postponing games like that the League will never end so they should bear with us and play their games.

“We talked to Kano Pillars and Heartland and they understood. We do not know why Sharks are still complaining. After all the players registered 35 players each and if 5 are out, they can always use the other 30 to prosecute games,” Babalola said.

Sharks were forced to a 1-1 draw at home against Rangers last Saturday and blamed it on the unavailability of key players who are on national team assignment.

However, Heartland won 4-0 at home to Ocean Boys, despite the fact that they also had key players in national teams.

The Nigeria Premier League was postponed at least three times before it eventually kicked off in the first week of November from its first announced September date.
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