Remaking The Nigerian Premier League: Issues and Analysis
It has become a national creed that the Nigerian Premier League is still years behind it's contemporaries, and it's development over the past ten years have not only been at a snail's pace, but have often been stunted. Certainly, it is a pathetic reality that our youths are still very intoxicated with European leagues. So much so that an average Nigerian youth can reel out the names of both the first and second team list of Arsenal football club but, ask that same youth to mention just one name from the NPL, and he will keep looking at you in perplextion. Just before one starts throwing stones on the youths for being unpatriotic, the question of what makes the NPL so disdainfully followed within and outside the country must first be answered. I dare say with every ounce of conviction in me that the problem is not entirely that of the media. Our league gets fair coverage from Supersport and one must commend journalists such as Emeka Nwani and Colin Udoh for astutely reporting the league despite of the odds engaged in sourcing and venturing into such reportage. Be that as it may, it will not harm if many more journalist makes the NPL their hub of reporting. However, it has been said, and not without reason, thatthe true bane of the Nigerian league lies with the administrators and stakeholders. It is an axiom in the co-operate world that a good product naturally sells itself. It is not lack of sponsors that have kept the NPL in the doldrums, rather, it is the primordial attitude and unguarded interest of the powers that be at the glasshouse that has continued to be our albatross. Until we start having true technocrats at the helm of our footballing affairs, we might keep nagging over this issue. Club owners should be held accountable for some erratic decisions that they make in their clubside. Success in the NPL will surely translate into success for the national teams at all levels. But, are we resolved enough to bring about the watershed?