As Dakkada FC prepare for a return to the Nigeria National League (NNL) following their relegation from the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, Akwa Ibom’s Commissioner of Youth and Sports Uko Monday is hopeful they will be back up sooner than later.
The abridged season of the NPFL, ends on Sunday and all 10 games left in this phase will be played simultaneously.
Unlike the regular football season, the trophy won’t be given to any club that tops both groups as there will be another challenge called the super six to determine who earns the continental tickets.
While the abridged season looks like the best the IMC can come up with to salvage the limited time, it can also be called the Giant Slayer as big clubs with high hopes got quenched in the short but heated season.
Dakkada and El Kanemi Warriors have been confirmed relegated from the league after their shaky performance during the season.
The Uyo-based team currently has 13 points and their relegation status was confirmed after they failed to defeat Enugu Rangers at home during the matchday 15 encounter.
Dakkada, who gained promotion into the topflight league in 2019/2020 season would be returning to the NNL after a four-year spell.
However, during their stay in the NPFL, the Uyo-based side were a mid-table club as the highest level they ever attained was an 11th-position finish with 50 points during the 2020/2021 season.
Having escaped relegation by whiskers during the 2021/2022 season on the last day, Dakkada will be waving goodbye to the top-flight league leaving their fellow state team, Akwa United, behind.
Coming back soon
During a telephone conversation with the Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Akwa Ibom state, Uko Monday, told PREMIUM TIMES confidently that the team will bounce back from its shallow state.
He said: “The last time I checked, it’s four teams that went on relegation. That’s football, some people must be relegated while some get promoted. It’s a game of football so it isn’t something to get worried about, the team will go back after all the team was in the NNL before they got promoted.”
The Commissioner then added that he has nobody to blame for Dakkada’s loss by saying “relegation isn’t a death sentence” as it’s a tradition in sports especially football to have teams relegated regardless of the financial sufficiency.
“Definitely even if you give all the teams the same amount of money, there must be relegation. Relegation isn’t a death sentence. Let’s assume we have 20 teams and each of the teams receives 100m a month and they go into a competition a team must relegate. I said give all of them the same amount of money, one thing is certain a team must relegate. A team must go down for another to come up, that’s the reason for the game. I don’t want anyone to worry about it. It’s like Nigeria going for a competition and they don’t make it this time, it doesn’t mean they should be written off.”
Despite their impending exit, Dakkada will be hoping to bow out honourably when they face Sunshine Stars on Sunday.
The Akure Gunners are expected to come out blazing hot as they will need a win at the Akure Township Stadium to boost their chance for a top-three finish that would see them join others in the season-ending Super Six action.
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