NIGERIA FOOTBALL REVIVAL: At Last 16 Clubs In the League Has Risen To Give NPL the Final Burial

NPL Final Burial
Several Months ago, I sounded like an alarmist when I wrote a post announcing that Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has been strangled to death. I said so because with the struggle at the head, all other part of the organization were starved of breathe to function effectively. Now in comatose state, NPL has started oozing out bad odors.

Can you imagine that last season, NPL ordered clubs playing at home to pay Referees that officiated their matches. You know what that resulted to - protest upon protest. As they say,” He who pays the piper dictates the tune.”

Ocean Boys were even expelled when they could not continue to pay their way in the league. And indiscriminate award of points saw Kano Pillar emerge as winner of the league. Olaleye Dada, one of the co-anchor of LTV Sports Splash, called it, “Yahoo, Yahoo League – the more you look the less you see.” Well, to crown it all, Kano Pillars were given only the trophy without the Prize Money. The board declared that there was no money.

It’s all caricature! Now let me make you laugh a little. I heard Emeka Nwani, the acclaimed Nigeria football guru, say on TV that in one of the league games in Port Harcourt, Masquerade ran into the pitch and dispersed both the players and referees - as the home team was loosing the game.

We just have to admit it, NPL is dead! The present condition of the league is now becoming an embarrassment to Nigerians. The minister of sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has called the attention of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to this fact. NPL is a bad market!

Victor Baribote Led NPL Board Disolved
 Thank goodness that on Tuesday night, just 24 hours to the seventh NPL Congress scheduled for Kano, 16 out of the 20 clubs in the league (Including relegation bound, Niger Tornadoes and the Expelled, Ocean Boys), came together to dissolve the Victor Baribote Rumson led NPL board - and established an interim Management committee (IMC).

This was long expected! We all know the challenge is not just about failure of the board to attract a title sponsors. It has to do with the entire bad brand of the league.

I am yet to know what the interim management committee of – Mike Idoko, Alloy Chukwuemeka, Promise Nwachukwuu, Tony Ogola, Sabo Babayaro and Alhaji Sule Chindo – will be up to. But I can advise them.

Mike Idoko Member Of IMC
 NPL is a brand that has gone bad. There’s no use trying to revive the league. And I will tell you why, the league has made a very poor impression on the people and by just mentioning the name is that repugnant. It may be very difficult to change the people’s mindset. In the mind of the average Nigeria football fan, NPL is long dead and even forgotten.

It’s better for the committee to start a process of evolving a new league entirely - A league that cannot be linked with NPL in any way. A league with different system and structure far removed from what is obtained in NPL. Ideas can come from more established leagues around the world – English Premier League (EPL), Spanish La’liga, Italian Serial A… The committee can call up expatriates to be part of the re-engineering process. This is the time to make a change.

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