Nigerian football league on deathbed- Sports Minister
Post created on 10:02 am
Sunday Dare, the minister of youth and sports development, says the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is on its deathbed.
The minister said the league is currently in a state of disarray, with coaches, players and referees owed salaries and allowances.
Dare made the comment on Thursday while speaking at the ministerial briefing at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The comment came after the Abuja office of the League Management Company (LMC) was sealed up earlier in the day.
The federal government recently announced the dissolution of the LMC as the recognized operator of the NPFL.
The minister said the dissolution of the LMC was delayed in a bid to find a solution despite receiving the approval since May 2022.
He said: “Between May and August, we did not issue a directive because we wanted the Premier League to complete its season without any disruption. But also, during that period, the ministry made efforts to speak with those in charge. We never got any response.
“As we sit here, our league is on its deathbed. We know the nature of our domestic league. And just yesterday (Wednesday) I got a letter from the club owners. I met with them two weeks ago. I also met with the female football leaders. There’s a letter that came on September 1, I only got it yesterday stating clearly that they have numerous problems with the LMC running the league. Unpaid emoluments, referees are not paid, coaches are not paid.
“So, in May 2022, there was a presidential directive and as a ministry, we applied reasonable judgment and delayed that communication. But at a point when the league ended, and we saw the continuous decline of our football, we thought it was the right time to take the necessary action. And that was what we did. There’s no connection between that decision with the NFF election, it stands alone.”
The minister added that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has received over N15 billion from the Muhammadu Buhari administration.