The League Management Company has urged the management of Dolphins FC to honour Match Day 19 rescheduled fixture against Kano Pillars, warning that failure to do so attracts three points forfeit and three goal loss as well as other additional sanctions.
The league body have slated Saturday, June 14 for the clash between Pillars and Dolphins, and El-Kanemi Warriors and Enugu Rangers, both of which were moved in tribute to the late Emir of Kano who died on Friday on request by the affected host team.
However, the Porth-Harcourt based outfit earlier wrote to the LMC to notify them of some excuses- such as hectic travel schedule, unavailability of coaches and players and, even citation of a purported Fifa rule which implies that league matches mustn’t go on during the World Cup- requesting for a further shift in date.
The rescheduled matches will go on as earlier scheduled, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, disclosed in a letter to Dolphins FC and Rangers International, adding that the LMC Board will refund costs incurred by both clubs in the course of their trip to Kano for the June 8 fixtures which couldn’t hold.
“…all the excuses offered for a possible postponement of the match now scheduled for Saturday, June 14 are not supported by known facts both in the Nigeria Professional Football League rules and FIFA Regulations alluded to in your letter,” Abubakar wrote.
“You may wish to read Article 13.8 of the Rules and Framework for the 2013/14 League season again to acquaint yourself with the provision that empowers the LMC to change the date of league fixtures at any time.”
He warned Dolphins to desist from any act that will undermine the league including issuing public statements on matters already receiving attention.
Abubakar warned: “Further issuance of such public statements will lead to serious sanctions on the club and the officer.”
The COO insists that the excuses offered by the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club are not in concordance with the Registration requirements of the 2013/14 league season.
“The League has this season run fixtures that held three days apart and Dolphins duly participated and honoured all such fixtures. It is therefore begging the point to count distance covered for a match that you have clear seven days to honour,” he continued.
“Dolphins are one of the 20 Clubs that were required by regulation to provide Financial Guarantee, a requirement that would have put the club in a position to have all the money required to fund its activities throughout the season”
He further challenged officials of Dolphins to provide the portion of the FIFA regulation that barred league matches during the World Cup period.
“It will be interesting to know from Dolphins which section of the FIFA rule says league matches cannot hold during the World Cup. We know for sure that the FIFA directive is that players involved in the 2014 World Cup are to be excluded from Club duties during the period of the World Cup,” Abubakar added.
“Dolphins reserve the right to ask its coaching crew to alter their travel plans so as to perform their primary assignments”.