Club owners of the Nigeria Professional Football League have threatened to withdraw from the 2021 AITEO Cup if the Nigeria Football Federation does not provide intervention funds for the competition.
The decision of the club owners to pull out from the 2021 AITEO Cup was contained in a statement issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Monday.
The club owners also asked the NFF to pay Kano Pillars their prize money for winning the 2019 AITEO Cup.
They also tasked the League Management Company to secure sponsorship for the LMC before the end of the 2020/21 season.
“The meeting observed with deep concern that in the last four seasons the NPFL had no sponsors, which has indirectly affected the progress of the league. It therefore tasked the LMC to ensure that it secures sponsorship for the league before the end of the season, otherwise the club owners would have no other choice than to step in.
“The club owners after a critical examination of the schedule provided for the 2021 AITEO Cup, paucity of funds and congestion in the league fixtures, unanimously resolved to withdraw participation in the AITEO Cup except if otherwise provided with intervention funds. It further called on the NFF to immediately pay to Kano Pillars FC the outstanding prize money for the last Aiteo Cup,” the statement read.
The club owners also told the LMC to hold state Football Associations accountable for fans’ violence in match venues across the country, while appealing to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to allow the return of fans to stadiums.
“The meeting condemned in strong terms the spate of violence at some league venues and enjoined the LMC to strictly apply the rules accordingly. That state Football Associations, instead of clubs, should be held accountable for any breach of peace at league venues since they are responsible for the provision of security.
“The association appeal to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 through the NFF and the Ministry of youth and sports to allow fans into the stadiums as obtained in other Football nations of the world with strict adherence to all health protocols,” the club owners also said.