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NPFL: Rivers United vows to fight for their right

Following the decision of League Management Company (LMC) to relegate Rivers United Football Club to third on the log of the Nigeria Professional League, Media Officer of the club, Sammy Wejinya, has revealed that the club will send an official protest letter to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the League Management Company (LMC) to express their disagreement with the 2019/2020 over the table released on Friday.

LMC revealed the final standing for the aborted NPFL 2019/2020 season after the clubs agreed to end it due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The league governing body announced that Plateau United finished first with 1.96 points, Enyimba and Rivers United ended second and third respectively with 1.80 points. But it gave Enyimba the second spot due to a better head to head record against Rivers United.

Speaking on a live programme, Wejinya stated that until justice was served, the club would not relent in their effort at deploring every necessary avenue to secure their ‘true’ position on the just concluded league.

“Rivers United respect the decision reached by the League Management Company in the case of the release of the official NPFL table for the 2019/20 season, using the Points Per Game (PPG) doctrine.

“Why we respect the decision of the LMC, we do not accept the method in which the calculation was done. Like we’ve stated severally in different press releases sent out by Rivers United, the determination of the eventual standings and the determination of the clubs that will represent Nigeria at the CAF inter-clubs competitions is pretty straightforward.

“The PPG is an arithmetic means, which is very simple. You divide the number of points accumulated by each club at the time the league was stopped on match day 25 by the number of matches played by each club. Now when that is done, putting into consideration that one of those clubs, Enyimba International, had played five games less than Rivers United and there was a tie of 1.8 between Rivers United and Enyimba International of Aba.

“The LMC wanted us to believe that there was a force majeure situation and as a result, the rulebooks were not exactly consulted. That isn’t exactly true with due respect because head-to-head was mentioned as the tie breaker used by the LMC in eventually determining the clubs that finished in second, and third place in this context between Enyimba and Rivers United,” he said, adding that the result stated by the NFF was not in consonance with the LMC rulebook.

“The decision reached by the NFF was not the interpretation laid by the LMC and we cannot accept this decision because it is tantamount to injustice. We will explore every avenue first set by the rule book, and if we do not get justice, we will move higher to the CAF, we will move to the world governing body, FIFA and if we still do not get justice, we will go to the apex body, the Court of Arbitration for Sports, as far as adjudication of such matter is concerned,” he stated.

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