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NPFL Suffering In The Hands Of Selfish, Non-Challant League Leaders



For a League that wants to align with the European football calendar according to the League Management Committee, many would have expected the Nigeria Professional Football League to have kick-started and be at least in its fifth week of the 2019/2020.

However, the league has only false started more than four times since May, when Enyimba were crowned Champions of the NPFL August with the leadership of the LMC finding it hard to agree on one single date.

During this period, NPFL clubs made do with Pre-season competitions while Enyimba, Kano Pillars, Enugu Rangers and Niger Tornadoes competed on the continent. Over the course of four months the NPFL is yet to resume, various proposed dates have so far been picked and dropped and overturned to a new one.

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The League management company officials and administrators have come out to indicate that there is not enough fund to run the league, even ex-LMC Chairman Nduka Irabor claimed the LMC needs at least N2.4Billion Naira to run conveniently.

Surprisingly and somehow Unsurprising, all of the deals signed by the LMC signed in seasons past are more of cosmetic deals from the TV Deal with NTA almost none existent, same with a deal with Channels TV signed in order to beam the league to Europe when its not even on TV at home.

Somehow in 2017, the NPFL was shot into international prominence with Sikiru Olatubosun’s brilliant goal against Rangers receiving international recognition but a season later, Supersports and Multi-choice pulled out of TV broadcast for the NPFL with the LMC doing nothing to leverage on the occasion which happened on a Friday night at the Agege stadium to market the league.

A multi-corporate deal was signed also in 2016/2017 with Star Larger among many others but unfortunately, the deals are pretty much non existent and forgotten with no tangible thing to show for it. This now raises a whole lot of questions which requires urgent answers.

What has happened to previous sponsorship deals LMC claimed to have signed some few years back? Where and what were the financial benefits of those deals used for? What are the plans put in place in order to generate the needed funds?

Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which is vice presided over by the LMC Chairman Mallam Sheu Dikko during the same period recorded a reasonable amount in marketing and declaring over 50% self sufficiency during the same period. It is quite baffling how a cogent part of the ‘success’ story cant replicate same in the institution he heads.

Perhaps the NPFL is not marketable or attractive to investors but how marketable or attractive was the Super Eagles before 2016 despite missing back to back AFCON Finals?

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Nevertheless, after the events that made the league to end abruptly two seasons ago and the abridged version last season, It became evident everyone cared less about the progress of the league instead its all about personal gains.

After much media outcry, the Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Sunday Dare ordered the league to start on October 20 but a consultative meeting held saw clubs for October 27 which was later cancelled with LMC officials claiming November 3rd as the most feasible date for the league kick-off.

It was evident that the clubs, knowing fully that it was close to budgeting period in the country’s political calendar was the best time to secure funds and thus agreed to start the League albeit the various inadequacies with little to correct them.

Meanwhile, there are strong efforts towards hosting the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Nigeria next year, the same officials who can’t effectively run a League wish to host a FIFA Competition, although good for the image of the country, its a misplaced priority when both the Men and Women League in the country are poorly run.

With everything in disarray in the League, even the NPFL may not commence on November 3rd as LMC and NFF leaders, Mallam Sheu Dikko and Amaju Pinnick are currently facing corruption charges from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Is this related to the very numerous deals that are unaccounted for? Perhaps its a ‘YES’ as the NFF had to run Cap-in-hand to the Federal Government for funds earlier this year to sort players’ bonuses and allowances just months after claiming self-sufficiency

Under the current leadership things have gone from good to worse in the last four years, with no visible progress made and battered integrity, probably the LMC needs a change in leadership because after all said and done, everyone is in for his pocket, it’s well evident the league may not move on with selfish and indifferent leaders in charge.



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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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