Dakkada Football club of Uyo has responded to the trending image of an EPL customized match ball pictured on the ball dais as Match officials and players filed out of the tunnel for the NPFL Matchday 17 clash in Uyo.
In a Press Release issued by the Clubs media manager Mr Edidiong Stephen on Tuesday Evening, the NPFL club explained the error was made by a ball boy who placed the EPL ball without due authorizations.
This error was however corrected by Referee Ayeni Ridwan before Kickoff a move that wasn’t acknowledged in the understandable yet regrettable discussions about the incident.
The Press Release reads.
” THE USE OF EPL MATCH BALL: A PRESS STATEMENT
It has come to our notice how awash the social media space has recently been with a screenshot which was taken of the opening stages of the video excerpts from the matchday seventeen fixture between Dakkada and Enyimba which was played in Uyo last Sunday, March 6.
The said screenshot appears to have been taken at the point when referee Ayeni Ridwan was just about to lift the match ball from the ball dais while he led a procession of the two sets of players out from the tunnel on to the turf.
Much hullabaloo has made of the fact that the match ball shown on the screenshot is an English Premier League (EPL) match ball whose inappropriateness for a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match is both understandable and regrettable.
For the purpose of clarification and to set the record straight, we wish to expatiate further on the incident as follows;
1. That the said ball, being one of our training balls and was situated among the balls in our ball bag, was hurriedly placed on the ball dias by a ball boy without authorization.
2. That on getting to the field, the referee noticed the error and called for a change of the match ball.
3. That the said EPL match ball was NOT the ball that was eventually used for the match as indicated by the alternative screenshot which was taken at the point of kick-off and is herewith attached.
However, we take full responsibility for this error and do hereby effusively apologize to the League Management Company (LMC) and all other related stakeholders of our domestic game for the embarrassment originated therefrom.
While we have also seen snapshots of the reported use of both CAF Confederations Cup and UEFA Champions League match balls elsewhere, some of which have the trappings of a haphazard act of photoshopping, and whereas we have been assured that official match balls for this season are on their way to all twenty NPFL clubs, we also wish to appeal to all concerned to refrain from further stoking the fire but to wholly align with the modest efforts to develop and promote the NPFL of the Shehu Dikko-led LMC which had consistently provided official match balls in each of the 2014 to 2020 seasons.
Comrade EDIDIONG STEPHEN
March 8, 2022. “.