Former Heartland coach Ndubuisi Nduka has described as regrettable Shooting Stars Sports Club’s (3SC) demotion at the end of the 2016-17 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The Oluyole Warriors were ousted from the Nigerian top-flight after the side finished the season’s campaign in 17th position in the 20-team elite league on 50 points from 38 matches.
Nduka said a team with rich tradition and a frightening fan base like 3SC should not be experiencing an untoward fluctuation in fortune at the end of every other season.
“Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) demotion to the lower league at the end of the just concluded 2016-17 NPFL season is painful and unfortunate.
“3SC is a traditional team that greatly helped to put Nigeria’s name on the footballing map of Africa.
“And with an experienced coach in the person of Fatai Amoo and quality players in their fold such a team should not be a candidate for relegation.
“I think the side greatest problem and undoing in the out-gone NPFL season is lack of motivation.
“3SC have been coming and going from the top-flight to the lower division and at each point non-motivation of players is always fingered as responsible.
“The team has the best wonderful fan base in the land and outside the shore of the country.
“Regrettably the team has been allowed to go down on relegation and if the government did not act fast and decisively, the team may go into extinction.
“Normally, the key players may depart with the team’s demotion in drove to other teams so a quick fix is necessary to ensure the team retraces its step back to the top-flight immediately.
“Our domestic league will not attain the desired height if a mechanism is not put in place to somehow protect the traditional teams from being a regular toy in the hands of gale of relegation.
“At least even if the traditional sides are not winning the league title for the sake of the league they should not be allowed to continuously and steadily go down on relegation.
“Football stakeholders and friends of 3SC are not happy that the team went down on relegation,” said the former FC Taraba coach to supersport.com.
The Ibadan landlords were relegated to the nation’s second tier league, Nigeria National League (NNL), together with newcomers Remo Stars, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) FC and Gombe United at the end of the 2016-17 NPFL season.