Joy Cometh FC reinstalled into the NNL after being unjustly relegated

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Joy Cometh FC have been officially reinstated into the NNL following a ruling by the NFF Organising Committee

The NFF Organizing Committee have decided to reinstall Joy Cometh FC into the Nigeria National League after they were deemed to have been unjustly relegated last season.

Joy Cometh finished the 2020/21 NNL season in 11th which ensured safety until the rules were changed after the season ended and the club was forced into an unlawful relegation playoff which the club refused to participate in and were relegated.

The decision has now been overturned by the NFF Organising Committee to which Joy Comet FC have reacted with a detailed press release on the issue.

Joy Cometh’s press release

The Management of Joy Cometh FC hereby expresses its delight on the decision of NFF Organizing Committee to overturn the unprofessional and unethical 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.

Joy Cometh FC

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It should be recalled that Joy Cometh FC expressed its concerns and dissatisfaction of 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 2020/2021 league season operated which stated that only the 2 last teams in the group will be relegated, and Joy Cometh FC finished above the last 2 teams on the table meaning the club automatically qualified for 2021/2022 league season without playoff.

Immediately after the congress, the club appealed to the NNL management to look into the decision of the club owners to stage 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 legal representative. With OAL team onboard led by Beverley Agbakoba-Onyejianya. Several letters of complaint were sent by our counsel. 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 official of Lagos State Football Association 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.

General secretary of Joy Cometh FC, Olusanya Ogunlari briefing the press on the illegality of the NNL relegation playoffs

At the hearing was the NFF Organizing Committee chaired by Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi who recused himself from the case because Joy Cometh FC is an affiliate member of his Football Association and Barr. Obi Oke stood in 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 is was finally released on Monday 1st August, 2022. The 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 as at the time of press release 10:05 am Friday 5th August 2022 the management of NNL is yet to communicate to Joy Cometh FC on how the decision of NFF Organizing Committee would be implemented which is what we at the club stands on.

Joy Cometh FC hierarchy from left to right: Jide Oguntuwashe (chief coach), Olusanya Ogunlari (General Secretary), Tosin Ojekale (Director of Corporate Affairs) and Segun Ajiroba (general manager)

We wish to use this platform to sincerely appreciate everyone who extended their love and support for the club during the waiting period, especially the OAL legal team. We highly commend you.

Special thanks to Joy Cometh FC technical crew, players, Lagos FA, Lagos Sports Commission, Solomon Edivri & his crew ( Prime Sports), Mr Omitosho Saheed and every well-wisher during the period. Also to the NFF Organizing Committee, we thank you for justice served.

God bless NLO

God bless NNL

God bless NPFL

God bless NFF

God bless Nigeria

God bless Joy Cometh