Ahead of the qualification competition into Division Three of the Nationwide League scheduled to begin next week Monday in eight centres across the six Geo-Political zones in Nigeria, the board of the Nationwide League has warned players, clubs and match officials to avoid any act of misconduct that might bring the game to disrepute.
Olushola Ogunnowo, the Chief Operating Officer of the league body disclosed to the sporting media in Abuja on Thursday when he said that all the players , clubs and match officials that will participate in the tournament must adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of the game and must not repeat the inglorious acts that occurred during the 2013 edition where four clubs, their players and match officials were banned for life.
“The qualification into the Division 3 of the Nationwide League will begin next week across eight venues in the six Geo-Political zones of the country. This is a very important tournament and the board of the NLO had sent warning to all the participating teams, their players and the match officials appointed to administer the game.” Ogunnowo said.
“We are mindful of the sad incident that happened in Bauchi in 2013 involving four clubs and their players with connivance of match officials that made Nigeria football a laughing stock all over the world and the subsequent punishment meted on all the culprits,” he continued.
“The affected players,clubs officials and match officials are still banned till date. It is therefore important to sound this warning to everyone that will be involved in the forthcoming qualification to Division 3 next week, that they must follow the rules of the game,”he said.
All the players, clubs officials and match officials that participated in the matches involving Akurba United FC, Lafia, Bubayero FC of Gombe, Plateau United Feeders and Police Machine FC of Yola at the 2013 edition were banned for life for their shameful acts of match manipulations.
Shameful results of match fixing were recorded in the game between Police Machine FC of Yola and Bubayero FC of Gombe which ended 67-0, while Plateau United Feeders walloped Akurba United FC of Lafia 79-0, all in their bid to gain promotion into the Nationwide League Division 3.