Frontpix.com engaged the Nigeria National League (NNL) side, Niger Tornadoes technical adviser, Abubakar Bala in incisive question and answer chat on the plight of the league within the coronavirus crisis, prospects and options for completing the season and the club’s stand as well as dream for the season. Tornadoes are at the summit of Group A2 on seven points after three matches same as second-placed side, El Kanemi Warriors after four matches on superior goals.
Nigeria National League (NNL) and prospect of cancelling the 2019/20 season
We will feel cheated, we will feel the authority did not consult the stakeholders before taking such decision, it will be very unfair. This is a league that started preparations around August last year, spending a lot of money doing all the preparations. We started the league proper last year around November and around December the league body stopped the league, nobody asked them to stop the league because of Christmas and this is a league that’s almost eight months now.
They stopped the league without any information, they did not say this was the major problem, they did not consult with the stakeholders intimating them with the reasons they want to stop the league, no such information whatsoever. Nobody was provided with any such information until coronavirus pandemic came up. Now if they are saying as Shehu Dikko was quoted that we only played five matches and there is no way teams can be promoted with only five matches, it’s not our fault, we did not ask them to stop the league in the first place.
If they are giving premier league the option of doing Super 6 why can’t they go ahead to play Super 8 for national league or play whatever they want to play and conclude the league considering all the expenses incurred by the clubs, it will be quite unfair to cancel the NNL. I want the national league to be played irrespective of the format to be adopted.
Play-off option for the Nigeria National League (NNL) as being considered for the premier league
It’s a nice option, we will be happy because we are topping our group but what of other teams that are second or the other ones in the relegation bracket, they will feel cheated. In this country what we are saying is that whenever you come to take decision you should take a fair and balanced decision, at least, you may not satisfy everybody’s interest but to the barest minimum level you are putting everybody’s interest into consideration. If you say you take the four positions, you pick only four teams to go to the premier league what about the other ones, what of the teams at the second position who are thinking maybe they have chance of qualifying for the premier league. Instead of that why not play Super 8, pick two teams in each group, pick the first and second and go to play Super 8, let everything ends that way.
Completion of Nigeria National League (NNL) 2019/20 season
The highest group in NNL is only 11 teams, in our group (A2) we are nine teams, there is the one with 10 teams, take these groups to a place, let them finish the league. It will not take them more than two or three weeks the national league will finish their league. It’s not as tedious as the premier league that will be fair enough.
Relationship with players within the Covid-19 lockdown
Yes, we have been monitoring them, we have been discussing with them, we have been giving them some fitness programmes, speeches, hoping that we will finish the league.
Premier League promotion dream/target
We are 100% sure of gaining promotion to the premier league should the authorities go ahead to conclude the league season.
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