Chukwu blames abrupt end to 2017/18 NPFL season on crisis at NFF

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Christian Chukwu

Former Coach of the Super Eagles, Christian Chukwu, has said that the award of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title to Lobi Stars of Makurdi was an aberration brought about by the festering crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

With 14 matches still outstanding, the League Management Company (LMC) last Friday, awarded the 2017/18 NPFL title to the Benue State-based club side, hinging its decision on the fast-approaching October 15 deadline for submission of representatives for the 2019 CAF Champions League, and the Confederations Cup. This decision was, however, also agreed by club owners.

But as far as the ex-international is concerned, there is no reason for this kind of thing to happen in the first place, if not for the leadership crisis in the Glass House, which made has made things in disarray.

The nation’s representative in the Confederations Cup would be picked at the 2018 AITEO Cup, holding between September and October 14.Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, Chukwu said, “Since they have announced their decision, there is nothing we can do to reverse it. If the club owners too agreed that that was the best solution, we don’t need to make noise about it.

“The people behind the crisis are the problem of our football. They do not have the interest of the game at heart. It is the players and the club that have suffered. There is no reason this kind of thing should happen in the first place, but it is a lesson for us to learn.

“The point is that we had no reason to postpone the league since we had no league players in the Super Eagles. If we had, maybe some clubs would have complained of not having their best legs hence the need to suspend the league,” he said.

The former captain of then Green Eagles, while commenting on this month’s election, advised that technocrats be given the opportunity to lead the body and turn things around.

“Those that have voting powers should be open, free and fair-minded. The decision to postpone the league was due to improper planning, which should never re-occur. But the problem here is that only states FA chairmen, secretaries, coaches’ association members, and few others are allowed to vote.“Everything in Nigeria is money, otherwise there are technocrats who would contest and win votes, but people with little or no knowledge of football management are the ones that we harbour because they have the money throw about,” he stated.