Will Nigeria’s League ever catch up?

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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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