After
what has been termed by many as one of the most exciting and best managed
League seasons in Nigeria, chairman of the League Management Company, Shehu
Dikko is already looking forward to the next one.
The
Nigerian football season finally came to an end on Sunday, November 22, 2015
with Akwa United beating Nasarawa United 2-1 in the Federation Cup final but
the league ended a week earlier with Enyimba emerging victors.
Chairman
of the League Management Company, LMC, Shehu Dikko told NaijaFootball247.com
that they really want to have the media capacity to cover all the games in the
league.
“What
we really want is to have the media capacity to cover all our games. Whether
they are all live or just simply covered, then we can say we are getting there.
“Once
we can get to that level, then the game will explode. We also want to see how
we can improve our infrastructure. As soon as this is good and comfortable then
I’m sure the fans would love to come back. That’s the basis and springboard we
need to bring back fans,” Shehu Dikko said.
“The
games may not all be live for now, but if we can have a few live games then
have the rest delayed or put in a proper highlights show then we can count our
gains.  Broadcast and infrastructure are
key elements for an improved league,” Dikko told naijafootball247.com.
Sunday Games
versus EPL
With
the love of the English Premier League and other European leagues taking over
Nigeria, Shehu Dikko believes it still did not do much damage to turn out at
league venues and continues to preach Friday night football.
“This
year, in spite of the foreign leagues, our fans turned out because the football
was good.
“But
we tried the Friday night games and if we can build on it, the fans will enjoy.
We also want to explore free to air games so we get to a point where the fans
will have a variety of games to choose from.”
NPFL invasion of
the Super Eagles
When
Nigeria’s Super Eagles played a World Cup Qualifying match against Swaziland,
three players from the Nigerian League, Austin Oboroakpor, Chima Akas and Paul
Onobi were in the starting line up while Ezekiel Bassey came on as a
substitute, a development that thrilled Dikko.
“You
can see we are all gloating over it. It was a crucial game for the country and
many would have thought the foreign based players would be used, but these home
boys featured and did very well.
“Now
the players know that if they do well, they can play for the Super Eagles.
Chima Akas plays for Sharks who were relegated so it means, if you are good
individually you will be noticed by the national team selectors, not minding
the over quality of the club you play for,” Dikko said.
Harmonizing the
calender
Another
top plan that has been on going in Nigeria since 2006 is to harmonize the
League calendar from the current January to November program to the more
recognized European August to May season but Dikko says there is no such
agreement in place currently.
“The
debate is on. Do we go European or maintain the current CAF Calendar? If we go
European, it will be tough because CAF starts their games from February to
November and if you harmonize our calendar to Europe, it means clubs on the
continent will play all year round.
“It’s
not for me to decide. The stakeholders will meet and we will agree on what to
do,” Dikko said.
The
league may just stick to its current February to November format.
Enyimba
International won the League for a record 7th time while Warri
Wolves finished in 2nd place and will also play in the CAF Champions
League.
Nasarawa
United finished 3rd and will take part in the CAF Confederation Cup.
By
virtue of wining the Federation Cup, Akwa United also play in the CAF
Confederation Cup next season.

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