PPG: Rivers Utd’s fight with LMC rages on

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PPG: Rivers Utd's fight with LMC rages on

… To drag LMC to FIFA, CAS

Rivers United have continued to disagree with the League Management Company (LMC) on its decision to end the 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League season using the Points Per Game (PPG), reports the sportsbay.com. 

The club have threatened to drag LMC before both FIFA and CAS over what they described as “fake” final NPFL table, which placed them third behind Enyimba and means they will feature in the CAF Confederation Cup and not the more lucrative CAF Champions League according to a statement signed by general manager Okey Kpalukwu.

“Our attention has been drawn to a purported Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) table being circulated around the media space wherein Plateau United, Enyimba and Rivers United were placed first, second and third respectively,” the statement read in part.

“According to the purported table, while Rivers United and Enyimba were tied on the same number of points, a totally strange/ inconclusive head-to-head consideration affected by same force Majeure was used to place Enyimba in the second position.

“Nothing can be further from the truth; as such consideration can only exist in the imagination of those peddling the fake table.”

Rivers United argued their case: “For emphasis and to inform discerning members of the public, what is internationally known and even in the rule books of League Management Company (LMC) of Nigeria is that points are the first basis of separating teams, followed by goal difference before head to head.

“The Points Per Game (PPG) model adopted by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and LMC is a straight forward co-efficient of dividing the total number of points with the total number of matches played as when the league was suspended in order to guarantee fairness to the club that played less number of matches.”

They continued the argument, “With the application of PPG, all teams are now measured equally erasing the scenario of whether or not any club played a higher number of matches than the other.

“It also follows therefore that in separating the tie by goal difference, is to divide the number of goals scored by the number of matches played to arrive at a coefficient.

“Based on the above, it is obvious that Rivers United is the second-placed team and no amount of false narratives will deceive those who should know.”

The Port Harcourt club said they will petition relevant authorities to resolve this impasse.

“We have already made our position known to the NFF and LMC and, we expect that justice will be served without fear or favour,” they said.

“On a final note, we may be compelled to explore all legitimate means available, including formal petitions to FIFA, CAF, and CAS to ventilate our grievances and press for justice.”

In the same vein, the Media Officer of the club, Sammy Wejinya, also 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 league table.

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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.

According to Wejinya, 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.

“While 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-club 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 matchday 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 tiebreaker 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 the adjudication of such matter is concerned,” he stated.

 

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