November 19, 2015

2014-2015 season: Dikko awards LMC passmark

2014-2015 season: Dikko awards LMC passmark

Glo Premier League Trophy Presentation… From left, Chairman of the League Management Company, Mallam Shehu Dikko, Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, NFF 1st Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwumi and Enyimba captain, Chinedu Udoji at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

By Tony Ubani

Still savouring the successful conclusion of the 2014-2015 Nigerian football league, the League Management Company, LMC, has awarded itself passmark for piloting the league to a glorious end.

Enyimba of Aba won the 2014-2015 League season for an unprecedented seventh time finishing with 70 points from 38 matches while Warri Wolves, and Nassarawa United finished second and third with 66 points and 63 points to finish second and third respectively.

Chairman of the League Management Company, Mallam Shehu Dikko while reviewing the just ended season described the season as ‘brilliant’ noting that they achieved all they set out to achieve from the beginning of the League.

‘’It’s a brilliant season and we applaud ourselves modestly for the achievements we recorded so far. The important thing is that we achieved all we set out to achieve from the beginning. It wasn’t an easy road, though, but it was made possible by all stakeholders. Things work better when you have everybody on board, moving and thinking in the same direction’’, Dikko said.

Dikko said that the LMC was overjoyed when they look back to see that out of 380 games, only two games had issues. ‘’That to me was a record. And the two games we had issues were that Taraba vs Nassarawa and Sunshine Stars vs Lobi Stars. Arguably, it was a brilliant season where we recorded so many successes. And that too has led to many sponsors scrambling to be part of the League. In short, we have set a very high standard’’, baby-face Dikko said with so much joy.

Taking a cursory look at the just ended league, Dikko gave plaudits to the referees for their quality officiating that has shot the Nigerian league to reckoning with so many teams recording away victories, something that was more of a taboo in the past. ‘’Referees were outstanding except for few human errors.  ‘’We knew this was a key area to the League and we worked assiduously by sponsoring the referees abroad to to upgrade their knowledge. Welfare of the referees was paramount to us. We increased their pay, made them to handle their accommodation. All these were done to eliminate direct contacts with club officials on the referees. And we witnessed the results. We paid serious attention on the security of the referees and that gave the whistle men the authority to do the right thing not minding where the match was played. We noticed that once referees do the right things, fans support them. That contributed to the many away victories recorded. It also made the teams give their best knowing that the jinx of not winning away games had been shattered. And for referees that performed below par, they were demoted. But, we give credit to them for outstanding performances’’, Dikko said.

On the ugly aspect of Clubs owing players, and players’ attempted boycotts, Dikko said that they got official commitment from some state Governments but noted that all debtor clubs(including those demoted) must pay up the affected players. We were careful with some harsh decisions to avoid hurting the players as well as the integrity of the league’’, Dikko said