Eight Firms Seek Sponsorship Of Nigeria Premiership League

alloy-chukwuemeka
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.

Nigerian football needs cleansing-Sen. Bukola Saraki

Senator Bukola Saraki has expressed displeasure, discontent and dismay over the poor state of Nigerian football, saying it’s corrupt and stinks and also in dire need of cleansing.

Saraki was speaking at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos during the final of the 2012 NNPC/Shell Cup

“We need to clean up Nigerian football because it is corrupt and stinks,” Saraki, who owns the only privately run club in the Nigeria Premier League, ABS FC, said.

“The NPL (board) should go and sort itself out. We can’t change the system from outside; we must do that from the inside. I am now a stakeholder and I am happy that I can contribute my quota to the development of football in Nigeria.”

The Senate Committee on Sports began its hearing on the dwindling fortunes of sports in the country on Monday and Saraki said he would address the issue in the upper chamber of the House.

“The game needs to be properly administered and we need to address the issues of violence and officiating. Our league matches must be entertaining. I am presenting a paper on my views about the country’s football at the senate hearing,” he added.

Saraki, who also established the Kwara Football Academy, said despite the recent success of ABS and KFA, he was not fulfilled.

He said, “I am not fulfilled because there is still a lot to do. We need sponsorship to sustain the level we are now. We have about four players from KFA in Europe and we also have some in the national teams.

“ABS is lucky to have an academy where they recruit youngsters and this should be emulated by other clubs. I hope the government encourages more private sector involvement in football. State governments can help but not as club owners.”