Eight Firms Seek Sponsorship Of Nigeria Premiership League

Alloy Chukwuemeka

The Executive Secretary of  the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners, Mr Alloy Chukwuemeka, says about eight corporate bodies are currently jostling to sponsor the Nigeria Premiership League for the next season.

Mr Chukwuemeka hinted reporters of the development on Wednesday during an interactive session with journalists in Osogbo, at the monthly Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) stakeholders forum tagged “SWAN Platform”.

He said the NPFL Club Owners had received a proposal from the League Management Company (LMC) that the league would begin by first week of December tentatively.

Now Attractive

The NPFL Club Owners Executive Secretary further explained that the proposal would be considered at the Annual General Meeting of the Club Owners.

The General Manager, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club, Ilorin commended the LMC for turning the league around, saying “it is now attractive with many firms lobbying to be part of it.

“The LMC has turned around the league in Nigeria. The league is now attractive, and there are eight firms lobbying to be part of LMC. The LMC has set a standard and that is why lots of firms want to be part of the Nigeria Professional Football League”.

The football administrator while responding to questions on moving football and sports generally forward in the state, insisted that a return to school sports was the only way to identify exceptional talents.

He revealed that the Kwara Football Academy gave ABS FC 10 of its best players every season through a partnership between the two clubs.

The ABS FC Director of Football also recommended community ownership of football clubs, as practiced in other climes based on what he learnt from the LMC organised LaLiga Tour in Spain earlier in the year.

He said: “Immediately I came back from Spain, I went to my village (Ehime Mbano) and I met with my Local Government Chairman and we formed Mbano United. I bought jerseys and balls for the team, because in Spain their clubs are built on their culture. Football community ownership is very important.”

“I will recommend that for us to develop the sporting sector, it is imperative that we re-introduce sports in our schools. This way, new talents can be encouraged and assisted to get to higher heights in this profession”

On the controversy trailing the final Nigeria National League (NNL) match between ABS FC and Gateway FC, Mr Chukwuemeka countered claims that there were few security men at the stadium, maintaining that there were about 78 policemen at the stadium that day.

He condemned the action of the Ogun State Commissioner of Sports who he said ordered Gateway FC players not to play the match, stressing that it contravened the rules guiding the game and operations of the NNL.

Mr Chukwuemeka also expressed the belief that the Nigeria Football Federation would put in everything to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the World Cup.

He said not qualifying for Nations Cup back-to-back was still painful and applauded the efforts and impact of Super Eagles coach, Genart Rohr.

Mr Chukwuemeka, who is also a National Officer of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, thereafter commended Osun SWAN for the Monthly Stakeholders Forum and promised to take the programme to other states across the federation.

Saraki To Sponsor Football Tourney In Yekini’s Honour

Bukola Saraki, Rashidi YekiniNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has promised to sponsor an annual soccer tournament to immortalise late Nigerian legend, Rashidi Yekini.

Dr. Saraki, who was represented by the Director of Sports, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Football Club, Alloy Chukwuemeka, gave the Senator’s promise during a visit to Yekini’s mother, Sikirat at her residence at Ijagbo in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

He explained that the tourney would be organised among U-13 boys in Oyun LGA especially Ira, the country home of the late soccer legend, where they believe another Yekini would emerge soon.

The Senate President added that for years to come, soccer fans all over the world would continually celebrate Yekini’s exploits in the round leather game.

He said that he had donated a giant trophy for the competition and some football kits to the contenders and the officials of the competition, which may coincide with the date Yekini died.

Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012
Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012

Senator Saraki had earlier renovated of the private mosque, shops and a six-flat apartment of Yekini’s mother and also gave her an undisclosed amount of money.

In her response, Yekini’s mother lauded the lawmaker for rewarding her late son with the kind gesture.

The Senate President further presented a new tricycle to Yekini’s younger brother, Hakeem, to help improve his standard of living.

He also called for the establishment of an institution in Nigeria, to honour sports heroes and heroines before their demise, based on their contributions to the growth of Nigeria in their chosen careers.