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Politics A Clog In NPFL’s Wheel Of Progress

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Politics A Clog In NPFL's Wheel Of Progress 5

Over 42 years of the Nigerian professional football league existence, the league has gone through a lot of phases including name changes as well as history defining moments.

In 2013 the NFF issued the license to organize and regulate the top tier league to them in 2012 for the purpose of organizing and promoting the league to meet global technical and commercial standards, the league nevertheless, has regressed badly in recent years.

This can be attributed to the frequent involvement of political activities either at the government levels or individual levels in the affairs of Football in the country, a situation where many football analysts, fans, major stakeholders and neutrals alike have called for a change if progress is to be achieved in the league.

While Government involvement in football affairs includes club ownership, the manner at which the administration of such clubs are handled leaves a lot to be desired. Last year a power tussle and political games between two individuals, Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick, temporarily grounded football activities across all levels in the country which ultimately led to the abrupt end to the 2017/2018 NPFL season.

Politics A Clog In NPFL's Wheel Of Progress 6

Whether at the Government or individual level, these are some of the few ways politics have had negative effects on the Nigerian Professional Football League.

DISTORTION IN LEAGUE CALENDAR

The power tussle between Pinnick and Giwa which happened after the ouster of the Super Eagles at the World cup, crippled all footballing activities in the country subsequently leading to a premature ending of the 2017/2018. While the issue was resolved after a ban threat from FIFA, the league failed to resume for the 2018/2019 initially scheduled for November due to another political crisis and gimmicks between the League Management Committee and the Nigeria National League after a disagreement on the number of teams to be promoted into the NPFL from the NNL.

Politics A Clog In NPFL's Wheel Of Progress 7

By the time the issue was resolved with a decision to play the Super 8 by the top 8 NNL clubs, the league was way behind schedule later starting on the January 13th when other leagues were already halfway into the 2018/2019. Thus leading to a cramped calendar where the league is expected to end by May just before the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

BAD IMAGE AND MARKETING

With all the issues encountered with the delayed start of the league as well as the aforementioned power tussle, it’s not a good projection of the League to the world and with the uncertainty that surrounds the administration League as well as government ownership of club sides, it is going to be hard to secure tangible sponsorship if any for the league. Already there were reports of a potential TV deal for the 2018/2019 season due to distorted calendar and delay at the start of the league

MASS EXODUS OF PLAYERS

Long before now despite the government ownership of club sides, players in the NPFL are always desperate to jump the ship to the nearest foreign clubs and leagues even to countries where it’s hard to imagine football being played there. This is because the welfare of players is poorly managed as they are handled like civil servants by clubs owned by governments, furthermore, they are owed backlogs of salaries, bonuses as well as sign-on fees leaving players who get the opportunity no choice than to jump ship.

POOR ADMINISTRATION

Despite having the word “Professional” in its name, the NPFL is short of anything professional in almost every ramifications, clubs lack proper structure and branding especially government-owned clubs where the level of success achievable is dependent on the attitude of the sitting Governor towards sports. Also, it’s not uncommon to see Governors score cheap political points by making promises towards the season of elections failing to redeem them afterwards.

LACK OF PROFESSIONALISM

In comparison to what is obtainable in other developed leagues in the world, the NPFL lags greatly behind with the unprofessional manners with which many issues are handled. The reason is not far fetched, many club officials and administrators in the league were appointed on political grounds and not based on their knowledge of football administration and by such deliver to the best of their competence which usually not enough to grow the league.

Aside this, it is reported that a certain Deputy Governor of a state is listed as a player in the team of the club owned by his state government this season, you wonder why?

CONCLUSION

After all said and done, politics and football are totally separated and as such should be handled in such manner, little wonder FIFA frowns at Government interference in footballing issues.

Politics slows down the progress of the league and should any meaningful progress is to be made, efforts must be made to ensure politics is separated from the NPFL and privatise the ownership of government-owned clubs.

 

 

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Africa

FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™

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FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™ 8

Council assigns FIFA Women’s World Cup™ hosting decision to the football governing body’s Congress; also approves financial statements for 2020 and budget for 2022.

Meeting by video conference, the Council conferred to the Congress the decision to award Women’s World Cup™ hosting rights.

Until now, the decision has been taken by the FIFA Council, most recently in June 2020 when the hosting rights for the 2023 edition were awarded to Australia and New Zealand.

As the football governing body seeks to raise the profile of the women’s game, this represents a significant step to bring the Women’s World Cup in line with the flagship men’s competition.

The proposal will be put forward for a final decision by the 71st FIFA Congress, which will meet virtually (for the second time) on 21 May.

FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of FIFA Women’s World Cup™

International match calendar and release of players.

The FIFA Council received a report on the international football situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of the Council had extended to April 2021 the temporary amendments to the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players regarding the release of players for international duty, and FIFA, the confederations, and its member associations remain in dialogue with national authorities about exemptions from quarantine rules for national team players.

READ ALSO: Mosengo-Omba Is CAF New General Secretary

The FIFA Council recognized that the highest priority in football is the health of the players, and therefore the discussion around the release of players for international duty must maintain this perspective, especially as the public health situation develops around the world.

2020 financials and 2022 budget

The Council also approved the organization’s Annual Report, which contains the financial statements for 2020 and the budget for 2022.

The FIFA Annual Report 2020 focuses on the role played by world football’s governing body in the fight against COVID-19, primarily through the unprecedented COVID-19 Relief Plan, which has made available USD 1.5 billion to support FIFA’s 211 member associations and the confederations through times of financial uncertainty.

The FIFA Annual Report 2020 is available on the official site.

FIFA Arab Cup 2021™

The Council approved the competition regulations for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, confirming the match schedule and draw procedure for the competition taking place in Qatar from 1 to 18 December this year.

 

 

 

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

 

 

 

 

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Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

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Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

Ever wondered why Genk forward Paul Onuachu has always been a prolific figure for his club and find it hard to replicate that form with the Super Eagles when invited?

The Nigeria international has been in awesome form for the Blue-White, scoring 26 goals in the Jupiler League this season for Genk, while his scoring prowess at his club has been a contrast to his form with the national team under Gernot Rohr scoring just once in 9 games despite being a top performer at club level.

Ahead of the AFCON qualifier doubleheader against Lesotho and the Benin Republic, Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr named his 23 man list with the inform former Midtjylland forward listed as one of the standby players.

Onuachu’s struggles with the Super Eagles in previous games he featured is quite baffling, considering the excitement that greeted his first appearance with the national team plus the impressive form he’s currently in.

The job of every manager is to find a suitable position or fashion out tactics that would be suitable for their players in other to blend with the team approaches to every match. In Onuachu’s case, he hasn’t been fortunate enough to blend in with Rohr’s tactics. While at club level, Midtjylland plays to his strength.

Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

However, due to Napoli’s players been restricted from traveling, the Genk forward made it through the backdoor to replace Gernot Rohr’s number one forward Victor Osimhen who hasn’t really hit the ground running with the ‘Partenopei‘, but when with the Eagles, he never fails to deliver.

It’s no doubt that the lanky striker has failed to deliver in his previous games, disappointing the ever-demanding Nigerian football enthusiasts with unforgiving backlashes from the fans. However, his prolific prowess with his club suggests otherwise and consistently makes a case for him to be integrated into the team with a different tactical approach that suits his style.

The era of a target man may have been long gone in football due to the advent of new tactics that have brought about a series of changes in the game. With managers preferring to go with a fast, skillful, or makeshift winger- kind of striker, instead of a target man.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles: 9 Players Who Netted On Debut

Looking at how Paul Onuachu plays with Genk upfront shows he’s one of the best target men in football, despite been perceived by many as a slow and old-fashioned kind of forward. However, John van den Bromm has been able to carve out a tactic that suits him which has been evident with his prolific form irrespective of his style of play.

Onuachu’s Super Eagle future might be on the knife-edge with Gernot Rohr not finding the right tactics that suit the Genk forward, especially with him not been consider as the go-to man despite his blistering runs of form in Belgium.

In recent times Rohr’s philosophy of vibrant attacking football with an emphasis on passing in the final third which requires the expertise of brilliant players to implement such tactics hasn’t really favored him.

Paul Onuachu: A Victim Of Tactical Deficiency

Having a player in the mold of Onuachu gives Rohr another tactical option and an alternative style of play should the initial approach fails to work as expected, but the German tactician hasn’t really taken advantage of what the man could offer with a different opponent.

Onuachu’s presence in the Super Eagles team should be an added advantage in terms of variety when the normal approach of the manager fails. With an in-form striker on the bench, it could prove valuable, but in the former Midtjylland’s case, Gernot Rohr doesn’t seem to see him as a player that has a future with the national team.

Players in the mold of the Nigerian are quite physically imposing as the point man, though they may not offer the team excellent off-the-ball movement in some cases. However, they often find a way to provide an opportunity which the team could utilize when attacking or defending.

Onuachu’s inability to show a good turn of pace and smart footwork may have been one of the deficiencies that are affecting his chances of blending perfectly into the team.

However, the job of a manager is to help players blend in perfectly, and that’s exactly what Gernot Rohr should be doing. Not only for Onuachu but for every other player who are always finding it hard to replicate club form with the National Team.

 

 

 

 

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