IMC members became warriors to rescue NPFL – Elegbeleye

IMC members became warriors to rescue NPFL - Elegbeleye

Gbenga Elegbeleye, chairman of the Interim Management Company (IMC), has stated that his team became warriors in order to save and reposition the country’s elite league, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

In a chat, the former Director-General of the disbanded National Sports Commission claimed he encountered pushback from the old system, which didn’t want the things they had benefited from to be eliminated.

“We started by fighting ways at first and you have to win first before you can do the needful. When we started the reform, those that benefited from the old system didn’t allow us to rest and we had to fight to finish. We had to tell our colleagues at the IMC that we needed to become warriors to fight them to their knees because we mean well for Nigerian football,” he said.

He further commended the league’s referees who had done credibly well since the league kicked off. He also urged them not to let down their performances on the basis that they are being taken care off.   

“I am very happy that we had four away wins in Match Day 1 and  1 away win and 3 away draws which shows the level of officiating and it shows how the crowd of the home teams now behave themselves.

“I commend our referees. We have ensured that all the emoluments and allowances of the referees are paid a day before they officiate so there wont be reasons to owe them. Our partners pay them directly and they have no reason not to do well,” he noted.

The former lawmaker also rejected the reports that the league’s partner, GTI’s Group ‘settled’ the sports minister, Sunday Dare with N100m from the N1bn deal for the league.

“Such insinuations can only come from a jaundiced mind, a paid blackmailer. GTI never gave us a dime except the N200m take off grants for the clubs which was given directly to the clubs. This insinuation can only come from a beneficiary of the failed system. Sunday Dare is not a deals man,” he declared.

He also gave a stern warning to fans to avoid causing trouble during the season as it was going to affect their teams.

“If fans cause crisis by inflicting injuries on officials, we will deduct points. It is easier in the abridged league for a club to go on relegation if points are deducted. We stand by that decision and any club found wanting will have points deducted,” he warned.