NPFL: Sports minister laments irregular calendar, poor financing, licensing

Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Minister, Hon. Sunday Dare attended the 5th edition of the Commonwealth Youth Ministerial Task Force meeting on Thursday, in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has lamented the deplorable state of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), stating that a healthy league is his top priority.

According to SportsVille, the minister stated that the NPFL schedule is twisted, lamenting that the country is out of step with international norms.

Once there was an irregular calendar, he claimed, the league would run into problems. He also lamented the poor finances and club licencing of players, which affect the welfare of players from various clubs.

“I’ll just tell you what my concern is. Across the world, you have the league rounding up and then you have the FA Cup season coming almost immediately. So my concern is that, the calendaring in our football system is so twisted, it’s so unreliable.

“There’s no fixed calendar. We are out of sync with other football countries around the world on systems. and look at it if EPL doesn’t use calendar, if the La Liga doesn’t fix a calendar, so you know what it is it’s disruptive, but it also turns away a lot of sponsors because they need to budget and they want a calendar that is precise.

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“That timing is important. So that’s been my major concern. And you see, once you don’t have that calendaring view, you will run into a lot of trouble. And that’s what we’re seeing that is happening right now. Because there are CAF deadlines that you have to meet which is very important.

“So in terms of administration of our league, that’s also been an issue, you know, consistently. A lot of football stakeholders have raised concerns about the Nigeria Professional Premier League. As it is, I know there’s a critical problem with finance. You been able to get the money to fund it.

“You see when you sit back if the right things are done, if you make the the league attractive, the sponsors will show up and that attractiveness comes with proper enforcement, you run a regime of licencing, regime of financing that is enforced to the latter where the rules are applied to Team A is not different from the rule that applies to Team B, where on calendars, a level of objectivity and tabula rasa for all teams, where teams don’t have to worry whether they need to do something extra to win an election.

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“So the sponsors also, they look for ethics, they look for some level of stability, they look for some level of transparency. Now, if you don’t get that, the funds are not going to come. Government also wants to see that the system is working. And that’s what’s been lacking.

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