By Femi Atolagbe
The management of Rising Stars FC of Akure has appealed against the decision of the Nationwide League One management, ordering the replay of the already concluded match between the club and Kwara United Feeders in the promotion playoff played at the Aper Aku Stadium,Makurdi.
The match was played on September 8 as one of the three promotion matches played at the stadium and ended 2-1 in favour of Rising Stars FC.
The NLO had written a letter to the management of Rising Stars informing them of the decision of its disciplinary/organisation committee on the match ordering its replay.
However, in a letter of appeal to put up its defence by management of Rising Stars, and Obtained by newsmen, the management of Rising Stars said it felt cheated that the management of the amateur division of the country’s league could take such decision without hearing from them as the other party involved.
In the letter with the heading, ‘Appeal letter on the decision of Nationwide League One Disciplinary/Organisation committee on Rising Stars FC vs Kwara United Feeders (NLO 2018 Promotion Playoff)”, acknowledged receiving a letter from the NLO ordering replay of the concluded match on the close of work on Friday with the match be replayed on Wednesday when all football stakeholders would have been in Katsina for the NFF election holding on Thursday was never an option.
The letter noted that a coach of Kwara United named, Yinka OJokojo, encroached on the field of play bringing the match into disrepute contrary to Article 4.13(1) of the NLO.
The letter also noted that the match was played for 45 minutes in both halves as against the letter of the NLO which stated that the said goal was in the 84th minute, agreeing with the “letter of protest” by Kwara United Feeders stating the said ‘goal’ was scored in 92nd minute of play
It noted that the Centre Referee after waiting for the players to continue play and the officials and coach to leave the field as well, had to blow the final whistle of the match after the extra time had lapsed.
According to the letter, the ball came through the side of the net which informed the decision of the referee to award goal kick to Rising Stars after he had observed the situation.
“The decision was received with rude shock and this is unacceptable to us and our Team, Rising Stars Football Club (RSFC).
“In this context we hereby state as follows our grounds of rejecting the decision and appealing against it, as follows:
“It would be laughable and abuse of due process, if a match that had been announced on the NLO official’s tweeter handle (@theNNLO) that confirmed Rising Stars Football Club promoted be replayed,” it read
However, the appeal letter revealed that the replay would not be feasible with the short notice as players and officials were already on break and would not be and the players having being disbanded to other clubs for trials.
It concluded by saying that the outcome of the match should stand in line with article 4.13 (1) ,with the match to be awarded to Rising Stars due to disruption and encroachment by officials of Kwara United FC.