Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: Coming to Play Professional Football in Nigeria - What to Expect As A Foreigner!
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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Nigeria is a football "crazy" country. Perhaps, the largest market in Africa, with over 80 million active football consu...



Nigeria is a football "crazy" country. Perhaps, the largest market in Africa, with over 80 million active football consumers...

The Football Market in Nigeria
 Although, most of the consumers are inclined to English Premier League and other big leagues in Europe; but there is a revival currently going on that is getting the attention and interest of the fans back to the local leagues.

For instance, there has been a steady increase in spectators’ attendance at Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches in the last three years...from virtually nothing to an average of 10, 000 spectators per match in 2016.


The big four teams: Kano Pillars, Enyimba, Enugu Rangers and 3Sc are at forefront of the revival. Kano Pillars records a steady 18, 000 spectators attendance at their home game in Sani Abacha Stadium Kano; Enugu Rangers broke attendance record last season with over 52, 000 spectators in their last league match in 2016.

Working Condition in Nigeria
League Management Company (LMC) in charge of NPFL, are doing a lot to improve care and welfare of players. 

But the country's economy went into recession in 2015, and that is affecting clubs. Players remunerations are sometimes delayed or deferred, because most of the clubs are owned and managed by state governments. When they do not have enough money to cover their obligations, the football clubs suffer.


The few football clubs owned by private individuals or organizations are setting the pace. FC IfeanyiUbah  own by the billionaire Andy Ubah, is gradually building a world class team...they pay players and coaches well... and are open to signing top class players from anywhere in the world. 

They presently have 5 Brazilians, 2 Senegalese players and a Japanese coach.

MFM FC, which is owned by the general overseer of "Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church" Daniel Olukoya, also pay players decently well and as at when due, but may not be open to signing foreigners at the moment, due to the clubs' visions and current goals.

 There are also REMO stars, ABS doing well in terms of players' welfare and remunerations.


The Football Opportunities in Nigeria
Nigeria is a decent place to start or continue your career as a professional football player. Clubs are open to sign up any foreign player as long as he's good and ready to bear the working conditions of clubs in the country. 

There are no rules or regulations restricting foreigners at moment.

Remunerations
Nigerian clubs pay better remunerations than most clubs in Africa. 

LMC had enacted a law prohibiting any NPFL clubs to pay a player less than N250, 000 ($500 USD) per month. This is excluding sign on fees and bonuses.

Nigeria being one of the world's renowned football countries because of its records: participated in FIFA World cup 6 times, won African cup of Nations trophy 3 times, won Olympics Gold, Silver and Bronze in the Men's football events; Dominated FIFA U16 World cup winning it 5 times since 1985. Nigeria has become a gate way to top flight leagues around the world.


So many scouts and agents have their "eagle’s eyes" on Nigeria to cart away any good player they can find in the local leagues and academies around the country. There's a saying in Nigeria that the country's best legs are not the country, they play abroad.

 Playing in Nigeria may give you such opportunity to be transferred to Europe, China, USA or even Australia...

The Hazard of playing in Nigeria
Well, there's no denying the political state of the country. The menace is all over the media: the bombings by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and killings by the Fulani herdsmen in the north. The Oil resource Militants of the Niger- Delta region; the agitation for self government and declaration of a Brafian state in the East...


Abduction of foreign expatriates by kidnappers from the South-East regions, Ritual killings in the West... Nigeria should be one place you may not want to go. But you know what? In all these, no one footballer has been hurt. Nigerians love the game with passion and adore the players...tthat is clear.

True, Nigeria is a multi-tribal, multi- religion federation... and the political problems that stems from these diversities only find unifying hope in the beautiful game of football. Amazingly, when Nigeria national team play, everyone citizen lay aside their tribal as well as their religious differences and in one unifying force support their darling team - Super Eagles.

Feel free if you are planning to come over to Nigeria to continue your football career. Clubs here has several scouts, but you do not need an agent to negotiate a deal here.

Connect with Clubs in Nigeria.
 GreenHunters Sports marketing International can help you connect teams here. It may require your video footage and CV... if you have the funds you may plan to take a trip down to Nigeria. But before then, for a little amount of $300 USD, we can arrange a trial for you here. Contact us; Call: +234 809 877 2556 or Email: gh.sports1@gmail.com Your Safety is Assured!

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