Joy Cometh FC: How Club Regained NNL Status After Unfair Relegation
The Management of Joy Cometh FC has expressed delight in the decision of the NFF Organizing Committee to overturn the decision of the NNL management to relegate the club from the current season 2021/2022 league through an illegal and unconstitutional relegation playoff which Joy Cometh FC refused to participate in.
It should be recalled that Joy Cometh FC expressed its concerns and dissatisfaction with the relegation playoff agenda by some club owners during the NNL annual congress at Edo State in December 2021. The club stood its ground against this decision because it contradicts the NNL rules and framework under which the 2020/2021 league season operated which stated that only the 2 last teams in the group will be relegated. Joy Cometh FC finished above the last 2 teams on the table meaning the club automatically qualified for the 2021/2022 league season without a playoff.
Immediately after the congress, the club appealed to the NNL management to look into the decision of the club owners to stage a relegation playoff with the participating teams paying the sum of #250,000.00 only as against the rules of the game which will bring the league to disrepute. However, this appeal fell on deaf ears of the NNL management. The club not relenting in her course for justice wrote several letters to all concerned football authorities starting from Lagos State Football Association board through her chairman Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi to NFF president Mr Amaju Pinnick down to the Sports Minister Mr Sunday Dare for intervention, all to no avail.
At this juncture, the club management engaged the services of OLISA AGBAKOBA LEGAL to act as a legal representative. With the OAL team onboard led by Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya. Our counsel sent several letters of complaint. The management of NNL in their usual habit refused to acknowledge the 1st and 2nd letters written to them. The letter was written to the NFF president but met with the same no response. This was when our legal team decided to write the arbitration committee of NFF for intervention. The club received a call from a top Lagos State Football Association official on Monday 14th March that there will be a panel sitting on the case the next day Tuesday 15th March 2022 at the NFF Glasshouse secretariat in Abuja.
At the hearing was the NFF Organizing Committee chaired by Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi recused himself from the case because Joy Cometh FC is an affiliate member of his Football Association and Barr. Obi Oke stood as the chair for the panel. Representing the NNL management was the CEO Mr Emmanuel Adesanya and the secretary of NNL, while Joy Cometh FC was led by Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya, Mr Segun Ajiroba Solomon (G.M), and the club secretary, and Lagos State Football Association representative was Mr Dotun Coker as an observer.
Now five months after the hearing, the decision of the NFF Organizing Committee it was finally released on Monday 1st August 2022. Decision number iv reads in part ” The committee this resolved that the NNL should reinstate and accommodate Joy Cometh FC into the 2021/2022 league season and reschedule their matches.
To this end, the club management wishes to let the entire public know that at the time of the press release at 10:05 am Friday 5th August 2022 the management of NNL is yet to communicate to Joy Cometh FC on how the decision of the NFF Organizing Committee would be implemented which is what we at the club stands on.