THE WAY OUT
■ Getting a proper Tv Rights owner for the league.
This is an area where the LMC need to address as soon as possible, since Supersports backed out of the broadcast deal which was supposed to expire next season, the LMC must make sure the blackout is not prolonged by getting another TV partner, else the interest and attention that is being gathered from followers will be lost.
There are many ways of sorting this out, the LMC can re-negotiate with supersport, or go for a different cable TV platform like Kwese TV or NTA sports on Startimes. Alternatively, the TV rights can be awarded to select regional TV stations in order to spread the NPFL coverage and broadcast to every part of the country.
■ Orientating The Fans and Professionalism/ Sportsmanship by Club Officials
This is one of the ways that crowd troubles and violence can be checked, club sides should endeavor to enlighten their fans about football being a game where you can only get three possible results, either a win, draw or a loss. Club officials should also endeavour to move on, irrespective of results from games played or referees poor officiating.
Also, clubsides should make sure unauthorised persons are not allowed in restricted areas close to the pitch.
■ LMC need to be swift at passing judgment on any violence case while Security at match venues Should Improve.
The league management body need not delay in punishing erring clubs as far as crowd troubles and violence is concerned, also punishments should be tough enough to serve as a caution to others.
Furthermore, security at match venues need to be enhanced, and this should be done by deploying more security officers (police/stewards) to match venues.
Security personnel at NPFL games are usually not enough to contain the excess crowd, how can police officers who are not more than 20 scattered around the stands contain a crowd of 2000 spectators when trouble erupts?
■ Referee should up their games
The home winning syndrome is aided by poor officiating, thus taking referees on further referee courses might reduce the level of poor officiating and bias from our referees this will, in turn, reflect in match day results.
Likewise, officials who are consistently controversial with their officiating should not be appointed for subsequent games or even be suspended in order to make other referees sit up.
■ Clubs need to pay their players as at when due
Safe to say this may become a thing of the past once the privatization of the club sides come into full effect but Until then, clubs need to honour their contractual obligations to their players by paying their salaries, match bonus and incentives as at when due so as to prevent further embarrassments like the case of Enugu rangers and Sunshine stars.
Both teams have been poor so far this season especially the league champions and this is not really surprising as players can’t be expected to perform on an empty stomach especially when many of them are breadwinners for their families with responsibilities to cater for.
Godwin Obaje of Ifeanyi Ubah earns 2 million Naira monthly (the highest in the NPFL), and until players start earning such amount, they will continue to run to obscure leagues in the middle east and Scandinavians, which is not healthy for their careers and Nigerian football at large.
■ Stadia need to be Upgraded
Many NPFL match venues are not television friendly with poor natural pitches and “rotten” stands.
The stands and pitch of the Umuaiha township stadium in Abia doesn’t befit a top flight match, the LMC need to set standards which clubs need to meet with any stadium presented as their home ground.
Although some stadiums just need a touch consistent maintenance of their pitches to meet acceptable standards. Clubs that can’t afford the cost of maintaining natural grass can install artificial pitches to make playing surface tolerable enough for players and broadcast aesthetics.
1 – Rangers Intl FC has not won two consecutive NPFL matches this season.
2 – The number of Nigerian teams left on the continent. Rivers united will be competing in the Caf confederations cup after defeating Rayon sports of Rwanda to secure Confederations Cup play spot. Enugu rangers fell out of continental competitions altogether, Wikki tourist and Ifeanyi Ubah also participated in the preliminary stages of the Caf Confederations Cup but failed to get to the group stage.
3– Is the number of penalties saved in a single match by Danladi Isah and also Olorunleke Ojo, although both goalkeepers achieved this feat for Kano Pillars and Sunshine stars in separate matches.
4 – El-Kanemi’s Samuel Mathias, Alhassan Ibrahim of Akwa united and MFM FC’s Odey are the only players to have hit 10+ goal mark this season.
5 – Tony Okpotu became the fourth player to score a hat-trick in the 2016/17 #NPFL season. Al-Hassan Ibrahim of Akwa united, MFM’s Stephen Odey and Plateau united forward Reuben Bala are the other three players to have taken home the match ball.
6– Top 5 teams with most Penalty kicks awarded in the NPFL this season FC IfeanyiUbah (9), Lobi Stars (7), Niger Tornadoes (5), MFM FC (5), Enyimba FC (5).
7 – Mustapha Aliko of Niger Tornadoes holds the most number clean sheets this season alongside Theophilus Afhelokai of Enyimba, Suraj Ayeleso of Nasarawa Utd and El -Kanemi’s George Micheal.
8 – Eight managers have lost their job at the end of the first stanza.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
2 Potential Manager To Replace Hansi Flick
Hansi Flick awesome reign with the Bavarian giant is gradually winding down, as it’s looking likely that he may not further manage the Die Roten next season.
Bayern Munich’s quest to win the Champions League consecutively came to end on Tuesday night, via the UEFA’s away goal rules having lost the first leg at home to Paris Saint Germain in the quarter-finals despite being the better side at home.
The Bavarian giant will now focus on league duty and they’re no doubt the team in pole position to win the Bundesliga, as the 2020-21 campaign is gradually coasting home with fewer games left to be played. In that regard, there is a great need for Die Roten to start preparing for next season administration and coaching wise.
The friction relationship between Hansi Flick and the Sports Director has broken down to such as extent that the manager has decided to terminate his current contract.
Hansi Flick sent shock waves through German football on Saturday after a 3-2 win over Wolfburg which keeps the Bavarian in pole position to retain the league title. Hansi Flick issued a statement about his decision to exit when the current campaign draws to a close.
“I told the team today that I informed the club during the week, after the game in Paris, I would like to terminate my contract at the end of the season.
“It was important to me that the team learn this from me because there was already a lot of hallway rumours going around.
“We’ve done a great job together for almost two years. I’m absolutely impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude.”
He added: “I also want to thank the club that gave me the chance to manage this incredible team.
“This decision was not easy for me. I’m a fan of this club. Gerd Müller, Paul Breitner, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge all were childhood idols for me.
“I’m eternally grateful to the club for the chance they gave me to become head coach here.”
It’s quite evident that a new manager would be appointed to pave way for a new rebuild of the team especially with the looming departure of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, and Javi Martinez.
Two potential top managers that could succeed Hansi Flick, should he accept Die Mannschaft managerial position.
- Julien Nagelsmann – (RB Leipzig)
Nagelsmann has been rumoured as a possible replacement to succeed not one but many managers in Europe’s top-flight leagues whose future with their respective clubs are not guaranteed. This time around, the 33-year-old has been rumoured to be one of the possible potential managers to succeed Hansi Flick.
It could be argued that Nagelsmann is the tailor-made manager to take over the reins at the Allianz Arena, and there is no doubt RB Leipzig manager would certainly harbour the dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Nagelsmann is presently focusing on the job at hand with RB Leipzig, plus the fact that he’s still under contract with his employers until the end of the 2022-23 season.
With RB Leipzig and Nagelsmann flying high in the Bundesliga in terms of team performances, with next season European football spot already secured, the club’s Executive Director Oliver Mintzlaff may consider letting him leave to join their rival.
However, it’s left to be seen how things would shape up at the end of the campaign.
READ ALSO: 10 Managers Currently Managing Former Clubs
- Jurgen Klopp – (Liverpool)
The relationship the German tactician has achieved thus far with Liverpool started in 2015 when he joined the Kop from Borussia Dortmund, since then he has achieved quite an incredible success with the Reds winning their first league title after thirty years and a Champions League triumph.
Liverpool were eliminated early in both domestic cup competitions and failed to progress past the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and it’s quite impossible to say that the Kop will defend their title with their current epileptic form in the Premier League especially when it’s looking done and dusted that the cityzen would clinch the title.
Having used close to six years with Liverpool since he joined the Anfield side, this could be the perfect time for the former Borussia Dortmund manager to take up a new challenge. However, despite Liverpool’s unpalatable 2020-21 campaign, the German has often reiterated that he is in no way finished at Liverpool, despite been link to the Bayern Munich and Die Mannschaft managerial position.
Given his incredible success with BVB, it’s quite evident that he would one day go on to manage either Die Roten or Die Mannschaft. Should Bayern secure the service of Klopp, he would certainly be the right and wise choice for the Bavarian giant.
At the end of the campaign, there would be a breath of fresh air in the Bavarian giant camp, with the new CEO Oliver Kahn taking the mantle of leadership from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. In that sense, it’s left to be seen if the incoming leader would sanction the appointment of a new manager or stick with Hansi Flick. Only time would tell.