Warri Wolves, missing players and ambiguous laws of football

In Nigerian football, we create rules but hardly respect or play by them and this has been one of our biggest problems.

The old League, known as the NPL also fell foul of their own rules by either choosing to ignore them or not knowing they exist.

The latest addition, the LMC have in time past not really adhered to some of their rules, especially in their first year in office.

Though, after closer checks and inquiries, it seemed they were trying to adapt to the league, its politics and intricacies.

However, most Nigerian football watchers have accepted the LMC to be an upgrade of the old NPL and it is expected that the respect the rules and regulations guiding the league.

Enter Warri Wolves and national team call ups

On Monday morning, I received a mail in my box from the media manager of Warri Wolves, Etu Moses on their request to have their league games postponed and I also took time to visit social media sites, Twitter and facebook to see the reactions from Nigerians who follow the league, as well as respected sports/ football writers.

A dare say, a lot of the reactions were based on personal feelings, sentiments and not anything close to interpreting the rules and speaking based on what the books say.


What do the rules say?

According to Article 15.14 of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL Framework and Rules, Where a club have five (5) players in the national camps, its matches may be postponed at the request of the club in writing provided such application is received not later than 72 hours before the scheduled matches.


I think the rules are self-explanatory on the issue and there should be no sentiments involved in how the decision is taken.

Have they written?

The question is not one of issuing press statements as that is akin to “playing to the gallery.”

Have Warri Wolves written to the League Management Company, tabling their requests?

Because there is rule book and I believe it says something about the club in questions writing to the league asking for their game to be moved, so first things first- they must write to the league and that letter must be sent in 72 hours to the game in question.

Warri Wolves return to the League on Sunday, June 14 and that letter must get to the LMC by Wednesday, June 10.


Is it based on sentiments

I have followed the arguments on twitter and facebook and most of the reactions are based on sentiments, not laid down procedure.

Some people ask why a game should be postponed because 7 players are missing when the club registered 30?

Others feel it will affect the league if games of one club are postponed since the league has a date already to be rounded up.

But should these arguments ensure when there is a rule book?

Based on these sentimental arguments, I want to ask if, say, Chelsea FC play an important league match without Coutoius, Terry, Ivanovic, Hazard, Costa, Matic and Oscar? Especially if the rules say they do not have to play if five of these are absent?

What about Barcelona without Neymar, Messi, Suarez, Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic and Alves?

But aside all these, there is a rule book that should be obeyed.


What should the LMC do?

The LMC can do nothing until they have received a letter from Warri Wolves asking for their games to be postponed. If that letter is not sent, then the league games will go on as scheduled.

But as soon as the letter is received the first thing the LMC should check is if the letter made it minimum of 72 hours before the game in question…

If that checks off, the next will be to confirm that Warri Wolves have at least five players in National team camps.

My own findings indicate that Daniel Akpeyi, Egwuekwe Azubuike, Solomon Kwambe, Gbolahan Salami, Stanley Dimgba are currently in Kaduna with the Super Eagles while Oghenekaro Etebo and Omoforman Freedom are with the U23 team.

If this is true, then the LMC has no choice but to postpone those games as is stated in Article 15.14 of rule books.

Where a club have five (5) players in the national camps, its matches may be postponed at the request of the club in writing provided such application is received not later than 72 hours before the scheduled matches.

It will be good to obey rules and regulations in Nigeria, especially in football and this will be a good test case.

If Nigerian football stakeholders do not like this then due process is simply amending these rules the next time a congress sits.

Ambiguity of the laws and lacunas

The Nigerian constitution is not clear and has lots of loopholes.

My lawyer friends tell me every law has a loophole and the best lawyers exploit it.

I have gone through that law that talks about National team players and I believe it is ambiguous in a way.

Here is goes again…

Where a club have five (5) players in the national camps, its matches may be postponed at the request of the club in writing provided such application is received not later than 72 hours before the scheduled matches.

Now on closer examination, the law does not say, where a club has five players in the national teams their games WILL BE postponed or their games MUST BE postponed…

The law actually says, their games MAY BE postponement which means, it’s not a certainty that postponing the games will happen.

The term, MAYBE means, By chance, possibly, perhaps or peradventure.

Something tells me that those who wrote the rules knew what they were doing.

The bottom line is that Warri Wolves will write to the LMC because they fulfil all the conditions to have their games postponed, but the LMC will still have to decide if they want the games moved.

My Verdict- It is injustice to force a club to play crucial league games without seven of their best players.




Share on Google Plus

About xxx

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.

0 comments:

Post a Comment