Former chairman,Edo Football Association, Hon Frank Ilaboya has declared that the LMC, Bet9ja deal which was made public yesterday by the league body is a confirmation that the just concluded NNL Super 8 play off in Enugu was not only a sham, but a tournament for the highest bidders.
Ilaboya who represented the Edo state Deputy Governor Rt Hon Philip Shaibu at the Enugu play off where Insurance lost out said the Enugu play off was skewed to favour Remo Stars, a club that is owned by Kunle Soname who is a director of Bet9ja.
In Ilaboya’s words…”The Super 8 was remote controlled by Remo Stars. On Soname’s insistence, the match officials for our match was changed three times on Remo Stars insistence, and the venue was also changed. And all our protests fell on deaf ears.
We even brought the matter before the Chairman of NNL, Senator Obinna Ogba, who himself witnessed the day light injustice but did not do anything.
The only person who shared our pains is the CEO of NNL who actually showed sympathy and demanded that the officials which Remo Stars staged managed were changed for the sake of fairness. Are these the type of people that will make the league grow?
“When we raised eyebrows over what was happening in Enugu some people felt Insurance had no basis to protest. Few days after all the fraud that played out in Enugu, you can see that LMC has signed a deal with Bet9ja. This is to say the least,very sad. Our football can’t grow this way. This is a case of handing over a title to the highest bidder. In Enugu, the organizers of the Super 8 were remote controlled to ensure Remo Stars qualified for the NPFL. This is disgusting,” Ilaboya stated.
The veteran journalist who is the immediate past executive chairman of Owan West LGA of Edo insisted that the NFF must come out to investigate what happened in Enugu where the quartet of Niger Tornadoes, Gombe United, 3SC and Remo Stars gained promotion to the NPFL.
The Super 8 play off was marred by poor officiating that at some point saw Bendel Insurance refusing to play their last game against Remo Stars.
It took NFF’s intervention for the Insurance, Remo game to be played. Both sides settled for a 2-2 draw, a result that gave qualification ticket to Remo Stars.