Enyimba FC manager, Imama Amapakabo, says he remains dissatisfied with the ruling passed by the appeal committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that the abandoned Matchday 31 tie between the Aba-based outfit and Glo Nigeria Premier League champions, Kano Pillars, be replayed in Lokoja on October 8.
A replay of the botched Matchday 31 fixture was early on scheduled for Lagos, however; following an appeal by Kano Pillars, which now plays their home games at the Confluence Stadium, the match was later billed for the ‘Sai Maitsugida’s’ new Lokoja home.
“We know why the game was abandoned in the first place and asking us to replay the game first in Lagos and now Lokoja raises more questions than answers,” Amapakabo told supersport.com. “I am not sure this is in the best interest of the growth of Nigerian football.”
The coach also wants the appeal committee of the football federation to clarify the motive behind the change in venue for the defending champions’ remaining rounds of home games- which has moved from Kaduna to Lokoja- all after the Matchday 31 crowd encroachment incident at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
“I think Nigerians still need to be educated on the reasons behind their decisions.
“Pillars were previously banished to Kaduna for the rest of the season after crowd trouble in Kano, so why change their base to Lokoja?
“Are we promoting violence in the Nigerian League?
“The whole thing stinks to high heavens and no one should be surprised if we do not produce a true champion this season.
“If this happens, we will see a scenario where our teams fail on the continental stage next year,” he added.
Following the NFF Appeals Committee’s decision to stage a replay of the botched fixture instead of forfeiting points, Enyimba has now dropped to fourth on Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) table with 56 points behind leaders, Bayelsa United and Kano Pillars.