Players and officials of Nigeria National League side Insurance of Benin are allegedly on holidays despite being directed by the Nigeria Football Federation to take part in the Super 8 play-offs, which began in Aba on Wednesday.
It was learnt that the players were permitted to go on holidays for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, by the management of the club, after the NNL announced that eight teams would be promoted to the topflight league.
“Only seven Insurance players are in Benin at the moment,” a source told our correspondent.
Eight teams – Remo Stars, Kada City Stars, Kogi United, Delta Force, Insurance, Shooting Stars, Gombe United and Real Stars – qualified for the play-offs from the four groups of the lower league at the end of the season but last week, Remo, Kogi, Delta, Kada, 3SC and Insurance pulled out of the play-offs, leaving only Gombe and Real in the competition.
The Super 8, which is meant to decide the four teams that would be promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League next season, has been embroiled in crisis as the NNL insists all the eight clubs must be promoted, with the NFF and the League Management Company saying the eight clubs must be reduced to four via the play-offs.
Last weekend, the Emergency Committee of the NFF announced that it had directed the commencement of the Super 8.
The Emergency Committee said it took the decision after careful consideration of the relevant rules and regulations, contemporary best practice and what is obtainable internationally.
“Nobody foresaw these special circumstances. Yet, it is only by obeying the rules and regulations, and being guided by global best practices, that we can move forward.
“The NFF Emergency Committee endorses the resolution of the expanded meeting that the best eight teams in the NNL should contest the Super 8 tournament, from which the best four teams will be promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League for the 2018/19 Season,” NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, said.