Four-time Nigerian premier league champions, Kano Pillars have been relegated. And this happened even before the last matches of the 2021/22 season are played across 10 centres on Sunday.
Pillars lost their case at the Appeals Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which dismissed all grounds of appeal by, meaning that the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Switzerland is their last point of redress.
The NFF Appeals Committee upheld the earlier decision of the League Management Company (LMC) to deduct three points from Kano Pillars due to the debacle in their Match 31 encounter against Dakkada FC. Pillars were punished for improper conduct during the game at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, on 23 June 2022. The home side won that game 1-0.
Pillars now have 42 points and can no longer escape from the relegation zone even if they beat visiting Shooting Stars in the last match of the season on Sunday.
Pillars therefore join MFM and Heartland in going down, leaving one more candidate to be decided on the last day in the relegation battle.
During the controversial game, Kano Pillars’ former Chairman Surajo Yahaya assaulted Assistant Referee 1, Daramola Olalekan, after the visitors scored a late equaliser against the home team.
Even the LMC was not spared for its role in the saga. The Appeals Committee said: “On the League Management Company’s letter dated 14 July 2022, addressed to the General Secretary, Nigeria Football Federation, having found that the letter is contemptuous, League Management Company is hereby barred from sending such letter to the Nigeria Football Federation.
“League Management Company has been cautioned several times, as the letter was trying to sway the decision of the NFF Appeals Committee”.