With uncertainty surrounding the conclusion of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, General Manager of Rangers International Davidson Owumi has advised the League Management Company (LMC) not to declare table-toppers Plateau United champions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The NPFL has been indefinitely suspended by the LMC after 25 matchdays over fears of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Plateau United leading the pack with 49 points from 25 matches, four points ahead of second-placed Rivers United.
Last week, Plateau United coach Abdu Maikaba said it would be ‘fair’ if the Jos-based side were awarded the league title if the season was not completed due to the pandemic.
However, Owumi said there is no need to hurriedly declare any team champions of the current campaign, stating that the entire football world have been affected by the deadly coronavirus.
“For the time being, there should not be any need for whether declaring champion or something like that because the competition you are going to compete in –the CAF Cups – have been suspended,” the former Rangers striker said. “There is no need for the rush.
“The entire world is on a lockdown for now. So, why are you rushing to declare winner or not to declare winner. Where are you rushing to? Where will the winner go? There is no need for that. They have not even completed the CAF Champions League for the previous year. There is no need; that should not even arise.
“In football, there is what they call force majeure. Now, what we are experiencing is even an extraordinary force majeure. So, we should allow the system to roll. Nobody can say with all precision, not even the best scientists in the world can say with all precision that this thing is going to go away in two weeks.
He added: “Football is an integral part of the entire society. What affects other climes is also affecting football. So, we live a day at a time. When we get to that bridge, we will cross it.”
In 2018, the LMC ended the league abruptly after 24 Match Days, with then leaders Lobi Stars selected to represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League.