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Thursday, January 6, 2022

NPFL: Why we didn’t play against Wikki Tourists – Sunshine Stars

… Wikki wants game declared ‘walk over’

… LMC keep mum  

Sunshine Stars of Akure have revealed the reasons behind the abandoned match against Wikki Tourists in the rescheduled Match Day 1 game of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League season.

It will be recalled that the game initially scheduled for Sunday could not hold due after Wikki Tourists failed to complete their player registration formalities before the commencement of the league but the League Management Company (LMC) ruled that the game be played on Monday.

According to the media officer of Sunshine Stars, Chris Okunnuwa who said the LMC didn’t to write to them officially that the game was to be played on Monday after it was rescheduled.

“As you know, we were slated for Friday and Sunday and our opponents were not on ground. Nothing was communicated to us officially regards the fixture. We are playing in Ijebu-Ode not our home ground in Akure and we have a certain number of days to spend based on the budget we have.

“We are being professional and we are not ready to join issues with anyone. When the LMC communicates to us, then we will know the next line of action,” he stated.

Speaking with the Wikki Tourists secretary, Abdullahi Ibrahim, he said they were in Ijebu-Ode to honour the game but said their opponents were not on the field for the game.

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“The officials came to the venue this evening and we waited for them, we dressed up and we couldn’t see Sunshine players. I looked at the match commissioner making calls, it was after I called the chairman of appointment committee, Babagana Khali.

“He asked the officials to do what was right, which was to declare the game as ‘walk over’. If we could leave all the way from Bauchi to Ijebu-Ode even after the organisers said we should play the match the next day, we remained there while the hosts were absent,” he said.

This declaration was also contained in a statement signed by its media officers.

“WIkki Tourists FC has worked over Sunshine Stars of Akure in the postponed match day 2 (matchday 1) of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League season,” the statement said.

The club captain, Mohammed idris Guda  also stated they were prepared for the game and were on their way back to Bauchi on Monday evening.

“We are on our way to Bauchi now as we speak. We couldn’t play the game even though we were in the stadium waiting for them. We learnt that Sunshine players said they had played their game and we didn’t show up. That is not true,” he said.

Meanwhile, the LMC as at the time of reporting this is yet to make official statement on the abandoned match.

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and '[email protected]'

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