The Nigeria Premier League on Wednesday failed to decide on the status of basement side, Ocean Boys in the League.

Ocean Boys reportedly said they had pulled out of the league after failing to honor three games this season and it was left for the NPL to invoke Article 4.2 (1) and 4.2(3) of the rules and regulations guiding the Nigeria Premier League.

According to those rules, failure to honour two consecutive matches means the club is expelled from the League and all games for the club, played or not played cancelled.

4.2(1) Any club that fails to honour its fixture obligation without any reason acceptable to the NPL shall be fined the sum of Twenty Million Naira only {N20, 000, 000.00} payable to the NPL in addition to all expenses incurred by the home team within fourteen (14) days.
In addition to the fine the erring club shall forfeit 3 point 3 goals arising from the match.

4.2(3) If a club fails to honour two consecutive matches without an acceptable reason such a club shall be expelled from the League and its matches played and unplayed shall be cancelled.

Now we must begin to ask pertinent questions based on the NPL rules posted above.

Article 4.2(1) Ocean Boys failed to honour a game against Kano Pillars last month and according to the rules they should pay twenty million naira (about $123,000) as well as take care of expenses incurred by home team for the match.

This money should be paid in 14 days.

Did Ocean Boys pay this money? Did Kano Pillars get a refund of the money they spent organizing the match Ocean Boys refused to play? So how come they were allowed to play other league matches?

Moving further, the rules continue in Article 4.2(3) that if any team fails to honour two consecutive league games, they will be expelled from the league and all their games played and unplayed will be cancelled.

This is where the whole scenario begins to unfold.

Judging from this article, should the NPL board be holding meetings? Shouldn’t they invoke the rules and expel Ocean Boys from the League?

But the NPL have continue to dally around the Ocean Boys case and rather than announce them as having been expelled from the League they decided to constitute a three man panel to investigate as a communiqué made public after their last board meeting on Wednesday stated.

2. The board resolved to set up a 3-man committee to thoroughly look into the case of Ocean Boys and submit its report to the board for necessary action.

The question League stake holders should be asking is why there should be a committee inaugurated for this when it is all clear cut.

Surely Ocean Boys’ failure to honour three league games has brought the league to disrepute. The NPL need to up their game and get things going.

But assuming the NPL are refusing to act on the fact that Ocean Boys have already failed to honour three games this season, two of them consecutive there is another part of the rules and regulations that require highlighting.

The General Manager of the club, Anthony Ogola is reported to have announce two weeks ago that Ocean Boys have pulled out of the league, a scenario covered by Article 2 of the NPL rules and regulations.

2.0(2) Any club that withdraws from the League after the fixtures have been made but before its commencement, shall be liable to a fine of Two Million Naira only {N2, 000,000.00} payable to the NPL and the club shall be automatically expelled.

2.0(3) If a club withdraws at any stage of the competition, it shall be expelled from the competition and will not be eligible for readmission. All its matches played shall be cancelled.

And if Ocean Boys should be expelled from the League what will be the implications?

The whole League table will have to be restructured with Rangers, title contenders being the hardest hit.

Rangers beat Ocean Boys home and away and with six points and a few goals cancelled from their tally, Rangers will no longer have 61 points but 55 plus a couple of goals removed from the tally of Rangers.

League champions, Dolphins got four points off Ocean Boys courtesy of a win in Port Harcourt and draw in Yenagoa but Dolphins will no longer have 51 points but 47.

Lobi Stars and Shooting Stars will also be deducted six points each as the beat Ocean Boys home and away.

This development see clubs like Heartland and Warri Wolves drop to relegation zone with prospects of them actually dropping to the lower division.

Top gainers will be Sharks who lost to Ocean Boys in Bayelsa and are yet to play in Port Harcourt. There points tally remains the same but they goals they conceded are removed giving them a better goals difference.

Other clubs who lost to Ocean Boys in Yenagoa will also benefit from this new ruling but there is a big question.

Can the NPL do this? Can they come up with a decision on Ocean Boys as soon as possible?

Can they restructure the league table without any protests as regards wrong tabulations?

But Rangers and Lobi Stars will not be happy about it. Shooting Stars, Heartland and Warri Wolves too.

Below is what the current Nigeria Premier League table looks like and what it will look like after the Ocean Boys issue is sorted out and the games cancelled.


2.Kano Pillars==61==47==25==36
3.Lobi Stars===60==39==28==36
5.Shooting Star=55==34==32==36
6.Akwa United==54==33==31==36
7.Sunshine Star=52==41==33==36
8.Sharks FC===52==41==42==35
10.Gombe Utd =51==42==46==36
11.Wiki Tourist =51==35==43==36
13.Kaduna Utd =49==36==40==35*
14.Kwara Utd==49==33==37==36
16.Jigawa G.S==48==30==44==36
16.ABS FC====46==40==39==36
19.Rising Stars =41==23==34==35
20.Ocean Boys =29==21==52==35


Teams Played GF GA GD Points
1. Kano Pillars 34 44 24 +20 58
2. Rangers 34 42 24 +18 55
3. Lobi Stars 34 34 27 +7 54
4. Enyimba 34 31 28 +3 54
5. Sharks 34 41 40 +1 52
6. Akwa United 34 29 30 -1 50
7. Shooting 34 31 31 – 49
8. Sunshine 34 37 32 +5 48
9. Kwara 34 32 35 -3 48
10. Gombe 34 38 44 -6 48
11. Wikki 34 31 41 -10 48
12. Dolphins 34 36 36 – 47
13. Kaduna 34 35 40 -5 46
14. Jigawa 34 29 41 -12 45
15. Warri 34 32 33 -1 43
16. Heartland 34 26 28 -2 43
17. ABS 34 36 38 -2 42
18. Tornadoes 34 32 42 -10 42
19. Rising Stars 34 21 34 -13 38

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