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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Chief Victor Rumson Baribote
Former Chairman Nigeria Premier League and President Nembe City FC


Former Chairman Nigeria Premier League and President Nembe City FC, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote, has expressed his dissatisfaction on the decision taken by clubs owners to bring the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL season to a premature end due to the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.

17 NPFL clubs voted to end the 2019/2020 NPFL season and adopted the PPG framework, and also collectively agreed that there won’t be promotion from the Nigeria National League NNL nor relegation from the NPFL this season.

The former Bayelsa United Chairman, was removed as the Nigerian Premier League chairman in 2012 after being issued a 15 years ban from football related activities in the country.

In an exclusive interview with sports journalist on Family United By Football FUBF a whatsapp platform, the former second Vice-President of Nigeria Football Federation NFF disagreed with the decision taken stating that if there is a winner there should be a loser.

" If they have decided to end the league and declare a winner it therefore means there must also be a loser, and again they cannot so decide for other leagues because they are not responsible for it, unless they are taking over the function of managing the other leagues then the issue of club owners, it’s like principal and agent relationship where the agent will enter into a contract with a party which is binding on the principal now does that change the agent to be the principal we will soon know who a real club owner is,” Baribote who just graduated from the Law School in Abuja said,"

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When asked to look at its legal side and as the former Chairman of Nigeria Premier League on how he thinks is the preferable way to end the 2019/2020 season.

" Like I said in every contest there must be a winner and a loser so in my opinion the best way is to organise a super six for the first six to decide the winner and super six for the last six to decide who gets relegated,” he stated.

Asked if it is justifiable for the NPFL club owners to decide what happens in the NNL, with the no relegation, no promotion decision and what do he think is the way forward for the NNL, the sports lawyer said its unthinkable. The question is are the other leagues under the so called club owners (Club Managers)? It is unthinkable.

" Article 18 sub 2 of the NFF statutes is very clear that all affiliates must be independent to manage their affairs without external influence how then is it possible for participant in another league to decide for another independent body (NNL and NLO) to my understanding the club managers who represent the NPFL clubs are participants in the Nigerian Professional Football League,” he concluded.

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