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NFF to blame for Kano Pillars exit from Caf Champions League, says Umar Jibril

NFF to blame for Kano Pillars exit from Caf Champions League, says Umar Jibril

Olumide Amos

The failure of the Nigerian league champions to progress to the lucrative stage of the continent's biggest club competition has been laid on the NFF's footsteps

Kano State Commissioner of Information, Internal Affairs Youth, Sports and Culture, Dr Umar Farouk Jibril has blamed the Nigeria Football Federation for the embarrassing exit of Kano Pillars in the first round of this year’s Caf Champions League.

According to him, the administrative ineptitude of the NFF was responsible for Pillars’ ouster in the continent’s most lucrative club competition.

Pillars had won the first leg of their Champions League second round tie 4-1 against AC Leopards of Congo but lost the second leg 3-0 in Congo to tie on 4-4 on aggregate, but the Congolese side sneaked through on away goals rule.

According to the Jibril, the Nigerian champions would have fared better had been up to their responsibility.

"Kano Pillars is one of the best in Africa. We have proved it several times. The crashing out of the team from this year CAF Champions League was due to the ineptitude of the Nigeria football authority at the federal level. Kano Pillars [was] representing Nigeria in the Champions’ League and not Kano State alone but those at the federal level didn't show any concern to the team,” said Jibril.

“Nobody from the NFF followed us to Congo and not even the Nigeria Embassy officials in Congo were on hand to cater for the team. I would have been killed in Congo if not for God’s intervention.

“We came and reported the matter and all the maltreatment and bad officiating we were subjected to NFF but up till now nothing has being said about it. The video tapes are there. Those running our football at the federal level do not care about the development of club football.

“The same thing happened to Lobi and Heartland and nobody is saying anything," he said.

He however assured that the club is determined to retain the league trophy and return to continental championship season. Pillars are presently on top of the log with 31 points.

"We are still on top of the league and we are playing well. The players are ready to do their best because the government of Kano state motivates them well enough,” Jibril said.