Sequel to the investigation panel set up by the Integrity/Match Fixing Unit of the Nigeria Foootball Federation on the Teams, Referees and surprising away scoreline between Akure City and Ajiroba FC on 11th of July, 2019, stakeholders have expressed expectations from the integrity Committee of the football ruling body.
It would be recalled that the NFF and the Secretariat of the NLO have both swung into actions as they set up investigative panel but up till now they are yet to make public the outcome of the panel
Here are the actions taken by NFF Integrity /Match Fixing Unit and Secretariat of the NLO thus far:
“There are lots of suspicions on the outcome of the match, therefore, the NLO has been mandated to commence full investigation of the match to determine if the match is ‘FIXED’.
“The Under-listed are hereby requested to submit their report why they should not be sanctioned as stated in NLO rules article 4:17 & 9:02.
“Akure City FC, Ajiroba Ooni FC, *Awoyinka Deji CR Kwara State*, *Obinna Ike AR1Kwara*, *Olayinka Busayo AR2 Kwara* and *Ofarayede Timothy*
“The Nationwide League One Secretariat will appreciate a response on or before Wednesday 17th July 2019,” the statement.
Surprisingly, 48 hours after July,17 has elapsed, the Committee is yet to furnish the stakeholders and the clubs concerned the outcome of the panel. Thus the reactions go thus
“Prior to the match day 8 results, Ajiroba FC could only record a total number of 4 goals in 6 matches and the same team surprisingly went away to defeat Akure City by 2-9 which raised suspicion in the minds of stakeholders, I think they should tell us their findings”
“Their 9 goals calculation is to bridge the goal difference gap between them and Rising Stars FC which was about 8 goals difference. They had reduced the deficit to one goal now knowingfully well they still have pacesetters FC at home and they believe they would win that match convincingly”
Another reaction goes thus:
“For you to know the match is a compromised match, the goalkeeper of Ajiroba Ooni FC wore the jersey of Ekiti United FC to feature for Ajiroba in akure and the referee did not question him. Ethically, before a team will leave the dressing room, the referee will inspect them by calling their names or jersey number where they will turn to him for confirmation.
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If the referees have done that, he would have seen that the goalkeeper wore another clubs jersey. But since its a paddy paddy thing, he felt is of no use, nothing go happen,that is our naija attitude. My brother,imagine the goalkeeper of Manchester City wearing Arsenal jersey to keep against Liverpool and match officials did not do anything about it even with the name of the different club conspicuously written on the jersey”
“Sir, like we earlier said, that match is obviously an arangee match. Here are some of the facts about both teams:
In their first leg, Akure City FC went to Ajiroba ooni FC home in Ile Ife, they (hosts) managed to beat Akure city FC 1-0. Now Ajiroba ooni FC came from Ile Ife to Akure and beat Akure City FC by 9-2.
The same Ajiroba FC, before their match against Akure City could only boast of 4 goals in 6 matches. My brother, what magic did they do overnight to score 9 goals in an away match in akure against the team they struggled to beat 1-0 in their own house (Ile Ife)”
We therefore call the attention of the Nigeria Foootball Federation Integrity/Match Fixing Unit and the NLO Secretariat to please make public the report of the investigative committee so as to help sanitize Nigerian League and restore sanctity according to the rules of the game before compilation of results.