Sources have told our reporters that NPFL club, Rivers United FC will head to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) if they are denied what they believe is their rightful slot to represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League.
Recall that the NFF has since stated that PPG principles will be used to decide the teams that will represent Nigeria on the continent next season.
If that is used, Plateau United will be first on the PPG table, Rivers United will be second and Enyimba will be third.
However, speculations have emerged from some quarters that the Head to Head rule may be used as a tie breaker to seperate both clubs as they will be tied on 1.80ppg.
However, Enyimba and Rivers United only played once this season in Aba with no reverse fixture played in Port Harcourt because of same ‘force majeur’ that stopped the league which invalidated the table at match day 25 in the first instance.
Our sources report that Rivers United are aware the head to head rule is null and void in this case which also underlines the NFF’s decision to use the PPG model to determine the top three clubs as it will promote fairness and equity.
Statistically, PPG is an arithmetic mean that determines an average.
If that model is adopted, then the fair and equitable thing to do would be to apply it across all metrics of the competition, especially when it comes to determine a tiebreak.
That means not just points, but goals difference.
Simply, you cannot apply an arithmetic mean to one set of metrics and then jump to apply a different model completely to suit one’s intention .
Let us go back to the bone of contention. Using PPG, Rivers Utd and Enyimba are tied on points (1.8ppg).
By the NPFL regulations (Art 3.5 of NPFL Framework and Rules) the next tiebreaker is goals difference.
Head to head does not even appear until Art 3.7! And it comes after goals scored & that can’t be applied where there’s inconclusive or no head to head as a result of force majeur which necessitated the use of ppg from the on-set .
Going by the rules and the principle of fair and equitable application of merit, it means the same model should be applied.
Doing so would put Rivers United on 0.52 gpg against Enyimba’s 0.50 gpg.
So Rivers United would be ahead of Enyimba by a factor of 0.02gpg
That is the fair, equitable and scientific thing to do.
Rivers United know they have a strong and superior case and our sources say the management of Rivers United FC, is now ready to go to CAS to seek redress if they are not named as one of Nigeria’s flagbearers in the CAF Champions League for next season.