Stakeholders condemn police invasion of LMC office

Following the invasion of the League Management Company’s Abuja office by Nigerian police on Thursday, the Club Owners Association of Nigeria has condemned the act and described it as illegal.

The LMC is the body responsible for organizing the Nigeria Professional Football League, but last Friday a circular from the Ministry of Sports described the league body as ‘illegal’.

The statement was signed by the Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar.

It stated: “It is alleged that the Nigerian Football Federation fraudulently launched the LMC to avoid and evade pre-existing debts and other obligations of the organization it succeeded, the Nigeria Premier League Limited, which was originally required by law to a professional football league in Nigeria.”

The Ministry of Sports had ordered the NFF to immediately revoke the LMC’s operating license, citing a court decision.

But the LMC insisted on its legality, stating that there was no court order declaring the company illegal, nor was there a legal petition in court to challenge its legality.

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However, a jointly signed statement by the Club Owners Association President Isaac Danladi and the Secretary Alloy Chukwuemeka states that the LMC is a creation of the Nigeria Football Federation Congress and has been incorporated into the Corporate Affairs Commission in accordance with the CAC Act and approved by CAF and FIFA.

The club owners further stated that it would join all positive steps to make the league better but would not be forced to associate itself with any movement detrimental to the growth of the Nigerian league.

However, it advised that the Ministry, NFF and LMC leadership seek harmonious ways to vent issues in the interest of football development in Nigeria.

“No meaningful progress can be pursued in an atmosphere of rancor and football is no exception,” the body said.

“Once again, for the avoidance of doubt and to correct the misconception that it was the club owners who wanted to dissolve the LMC, our letter to the Honorable Minister merely suggested how we could advance the league through rules and standards recognized by football.”

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According to reports, about 20 police officers took over the LMC office at No. 20, Osun Crescent, Off IBB Way, Maitama, Abuja.

It was also learned that the police officers had been led to the office by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

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