By Onochie Anibeze
Rangers International, the Flying Antelopes of Nigerian football, are blowing hot from their Enugu base and they appear to have a point.
They want the Nigeria football federation and The Secretary General of the Premier League Board to respect the implications of the decision of Football Congress to change the expulsion of Ocean Boys to relegation from the Premier League.
Ocean Boys were expelled when they couldn’t honour some league matches due to poor finances.
At the Extra Ordinary Congress of Nigeria Premier League last week, the Board led by Rumsom Baribote was sacked and the Annual General Meeting of the Football Federation ratified it but changed the expulsion of Ocean Boys to relegation to the National League.
When the Baribote Board expelled Ocean Boys they canceled all the points clubs earned against them. Rangers lost six points and five goals and their points dropped to 58 from 64. This placed them in second position at the end of the season behind Kano Pillars who won the league with 63 points. Pillars lost three points, the victory they earned again Ocean Boys in Kano.
By the time they were to go for the return leg the NPL had taken the decision to expel Ocean Boys and Pillars did not travel for the away match anymore. So while Rangers lost six points, Pillars lost three points. And now that there’s a change, simply relegating Ocean Boys and not expelling them Rangers maintain that all the points deducted from clubs that played Ocean Boys should be reinstated. This will place them back to their 64 points enough for them to emerge as league champions unless another decision is taken for Ocean boys to play all the matches they abandoned.
“The implications of the change from expulsion to relegation should be respected and Rangers announced the league champions,” Foster Chime, the spokesman of Rangers said Monday. We are doing a letter to the NFF to consider this because it is clear that we won the league,” Chime said last night.