Alli wants urgent action from NFF and IMC before biased officiating destroys NPFL

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Downcast and frustrated with biased officiating that is wiping off the gains made at the beginning of the 2023 NPFL football season, Nigeria sports legend Yussuf Alli has called on the NFF and IMC to urgently halt the trend before the league returns to its inglorious day.

Alli who is the Executive Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission (ESSC) revealed that some top clubs in the NPFL are ganging against Bendel Insurance, a club with a rich pedigree which they see as a ‘small club’ because it just gained promotion from NNL and it is dominating giants and has remained unbeaten this season.

Since the 2023 season began Bendel Insurance has been in splendid form winning home and away.
The gang-up against the club was particularly terrible in Aba when the team played against Enyimba penultimate week. The referee gave a questionable penalty against Insurance, a decision that even the home team supporters find strange.
Despite intimidation from the referee, the Benin Arsenal still managed to leave Aba with a point. If referees are hostile to the club away, their home games are not different; the referees are also playing against them in their home matches.
In their last match against Akwa United in Benin witnessed by the Edo State Deputy Governor, His Excellency Philip Shaibu and Davidson Owumi of IMC, Bendel Insurance were denied a clear penalty and the referee undoubtedly lacking in acumen admitted that it was actually a penalty but he had to deny Insurance because Paul Bassey of Akwa United complained.
Said Alli, “These guys, the referees are supposed to be unbiased umpires but they are biased, they and their cohorts are killing our league. Their postulation that Bendel Insurance just came from the NNL therefore should be frustrated show their shallow thinking and lack of sense of history. It is not in this same country that Leventis United came from the lower division and dominated the FA Cup, Premier League, and even dominated on the continent and all and sundry applaud them.”
Alli posited that instead of being envious and ganging up to destroy the good work of Edo State Government and the management team of Bendel Insurance “they should have come for a tutorial on how to run a football club successfully and Edo State Government will give them the manual free,
“Apart from our pedigree which is as good as those of the best clubs in the league and better than that of most of them, a lot of work goes into our recent success. It was not as straight as a rope; it took a lot of sweat and blood. Apart from the personal commitment of His Excellency Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy His Excellency Shaibu and the management of ESSC, we embark on nationwide recruitment for the best of the best. All our players made the team on merit, not through any godfather, our welfare package, medical and others are first class and we abhor cutting corners.”
Alli revealed that the club sponsors and supporters are becoming frustrated, “the NFF and the IMC must do something urgently to stop this ugly trend. I advocate severe sanctions for erring officials; this will deter others and stop the trend. As a sportsman I know what it means to be a victim of cheating, that is why till today I advocate a life ban for athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs”


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