The Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Gbenga Elegbeleye, has described as wicked and cheap blackmail insinuations that the body collected N1 billion from a sponsor to run the league.

There were insinuations in some quarters that the IMC got N1billion to run the NPFL this season, and that Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, got N100 million as 10 per cent of the money.

Elegbeleye told The Guardian in a telephone chat yesterday that those spreading such rumour are wicked and cheap blackmailers.

“In the first place, nobody gave us any money to run the league not to talk of such huge amount of N1billion,” an angry Elegbeleye said. “GTI didn’t give us a dime. GTI are economists. They are bankers, and they promised to help us raise funds for the NPFL, using their image. We believe in them, but we said before we go ahead, how can you help our 20 clubs for a start because they need support. We agreed that N10 million is given to each club. GTI gave N200 million to the 20 NPFL clubs, which is N10 million per club. This money was not even given to the IMC. It was credited directly to account of the clubs, so we didn’t have access to the money.”

Speaking further, the IMC boss said: “On the issue of referee, we told GTI to pay the referee directly from its account. So, for anyone to say GTI gave us N1billion for the NPFL and N100 million for the Sports Minister as 10 per cent, shows they are part of the failed system. Such insinuation can only come from a sick mind or a paid blackmailer because there is no N1billion anywhere,” he stated.

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