NNL: Remo Stars withdraw from promotion playoffs

Remo Stars have pulled out of the forthcoming Nigeria National League Super 8 tournament.

After initially insisting on promotions for eight teams to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), the Nigeria National League (NNL) is reportedly set to hold a promotion playoff in Aba to determine four teams that would be promoted to the elite division.

The league body had last month, following a meeting in Abuja, informed the body that organises the NPFL — League Managing Company (LMC) — of its demand that the top two teams from each of the NNL groups be promoted to the topflight.

The demand was, however, turned down — leading to the resignation of the NNL Chief Executive Officer, Bukola Olopade.

Bukola Olopade

The NNL, according to 234football sources, vowed not drop their demand.

But on Tuesday, the second-tier league body reportedly made a U-turn, agreeing to hold a Super 8 tournament.

The tournament, according to a statement issued by the NNL media boss, Amar Ignis, will hold in Aba, starting from Saturday.

In the proposed tournament, Shooting Stars, Bendel Insurance, Gombe United, Delta Force, Remo Stars, Kogi United, Kada City and Real Stars are to vie for four topflight places.

However, the decision to hold the Super 8 tournament has not gone down well with some of the teams, with Kaduna-based club Kada City announcing their withdrawal from the league, citing the LMC’s insistence on a promotion playoff.

Proprietor of the club, Ekene Abubakar, in a statement, said: “Following the silence by the NFF two weeks after the NNL clubs had met and took their stand on promotion/relegation as directed by the NFF and the recent directive to stage playoff which was abolished during the NNL AGA, I Mr Ekene Abubakar Adams, Chief Executive Officer of Kada City FC hereby withdraw from the league and will have nothing to do with Nigerian football until the decisions of the NNL clubs during the Annual General Assembly (AGA) held on the 24th November, 2018 are respected and implemented.”

On Wednesday, Remo Stars, who finished top of group B2, became the second side to boycott the NNL Super 8 tournament.

Remo Stars players listening to tactical instructions before a match

“Remo Stars Football Club (RSFC) will not be honouring the upcoming Bet9ja Nigeria National League Super 8 competition scheduled to hold on the 15th of December, 2018, in Aba, Abia State,” a club statement read.

“On the 24th of November, decisions were reached by the NNL league board during the Annual General Assembly (AGA) held at NERA Hotel Jabi, Abuja indicating all eight (8) teams will be promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

“Following the earlier decision made, we (Remo Stars) have now noticed that the Nigeria National League (NNL) is no longer going by the earlier decision made to promote all eight (8) and we have therefore decided on our part not to honour the scheduled NNL Super 8 in Aba.”

Mfoniso Williams