Will Nigeria’s League ever catch up?

Chairman of the
League Management Company,
 Nduka Irabor
 
By Damiete Tonte Sanipe

Nigeria broke the record for running the longest football league ever when the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) ran for about twelve calendar months.

There were serious crisis as the 2012/2013 league season had been delayed for several months and the league was impoverished because there had not been any title sponsor for more than two years.

In fact, issues’ surrounding the running of the League in Nigeria became very daunting as it looked insoluble by the day.

Thus the coming into existence of the Nduka Irabor led League Management Company (LMC) to turn things around and one year later, it seems they are on the right track.

After months of delay, the 2012/ 2013 which ought to have kicked-off mid-August of 2012 finally started in March 2013 and games were rushed just to catch up with the European calendar.

Teams played twice a week almost through the season, though the LMC provided match free weeks when club were to features on the continent and those not in the continent played in the FA Cup.

Though very hectic, teams played twice in a week and the first stanza ended without disputes but towards the end of the season, the fight for the championship, qualifiers for continental places and relegation brought lots of controversies as teams protested every game lost thereby causing lots of replays and points awarded from the boardroom.

These led to the season which ought to have ended in August to end on October 20, 2013.

The LMC, in their usual dexterity in finding solutions to Nigerian Professional Football League problems came out with a calendar for the 2013/2014 season to start by November 22, 2013.

Lots of issues yet unsolved were still on ground and one month was too short to start a new season.

Club owners/ managers then started a brawl on the legality of the LMC and who should be in-charge of the League.

That sorted, the league was faced with another storm gathering as the LMC decided not to relent on the registration requirements to be met by Clubs intending to participate in the 2013/14 Glo Premier League. Nigeria, also participating in the CHAN in South Africa that ends in February was another issue.

The European season is on the home run and we are yet to start, how feasible is it that the NPFL aligns with the European calendar which generally affects our League as players leave for greener pastures at every available opportunity.

Only the LMC and time can decide that.

The League tentatively starts on February 21 and with a one month break in June for the World, Nigeria may not align with Europe any time soon

 
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