Why Adamawa United failed at NPFL -Team Chairman, Zira

The Chairman of Adamawa United Football Club, Mr Emmanuel Zira, has said the team was relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2020/21 season because of internal crisis bordering on funding.

With four matches to go in the 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League campaign, Adamawa United was officially relegated from the league after they lost 4-0 to Dakkada FC towards last weekend.

Overall, Adamawa United won just five, lost 20 and drew nine out of 34 games.

The Adamawa United Chairman who spoke to newsmen at the club secretariat in the Bekaji area of Jimeta, Yola, said poor funding first damned the team 15 years ago.

“In 2006 when Adamawa United was promoted to play in the NPFL premiership, it was enmeshed in an internal crisis that led to the relegation of the club.

“What happened this season is a replica of what relegated Adamawa United in 2006 from the NPFL. Funding of the club was a setback to the performance of the players. In the 2006/2007 season the club received funding when it remained only two matches to round off the season,” he explained.

About recent developments, Mr. Zira said, “I had put everything on ground for the promotion of Adamawa United to the NPFL in 2019/20 season before I left the club. I was asked to come back to the club during the coronavirus pandemic. At my resumption, I made proposal to Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure Adamawa United has good performance in the league.

“Things went well only in the first month of the league. The following months, inhouse crisis erupted in the club. The club was not funded.”

He said this made him to step aside, until he was called again to rescue the club, following which he used his influence last year to persuade some clubs playing in the NPFL to end the League with no club being relegated due to COVID-19.

“This saved Adamawa United which was at the bottom of the league table from being relegated in the last season,” he explained, adding however that the team did not learn from the past mistake.

“Amidst crises in the team, the welfare of the players was not taken care of,” he said, expatiating that the players were paid pitiably meagre allowances and sometimes could not even stay in hotels at away match venues, a situation which, according to him, infuriated Governor Ahmadu Fintiri who reacted by removing the club and its female counterpart, Adamawa Queens Football Club, from under the Ministry of Sports to his (Governor’s) office.

“When I took over; the club had four points in the league while others had 30,” he said, asserting that if the right things had been done, Adamawa United would not have been in the relegation zone “because the team has highly rated players.”

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