The National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANF), an unrepentant advocate for the emergence of independent private leagues in Nigeria, has been drawn to reactions from concerned Nigeria football stakeholders, some positive, while others are negative perceptions.
In this our series in the advocacy for independent private leagues in Nigeria, we shall continue to address issues concerning the negative perception raised by concerned stakeholders.
- THE ISSUE OF INDEPENDENT PRIVATE LEAGUES AS PARALLEL LEAGUES
The proposed independent private leagues are not intended or going to be run as parallel league bodies either to the NPFL, NNL, or NNO.
This is a group of local and foreign Business men with registered Business concerns with the corporate affairs commission who are desirous in going into the Business of the game of professional football.
They have an inherent right under the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended to do so. The NFA/NFF is the sole football regulating authority in Nigeria.
The NFA/NFF is affiliated to FIFA and CAF and participate in their championships/competitions through their affiliate clubs.
The NFA/NFF is regulated as at today under the NFA ACT 2004 as its governing instrument including the statutes of FIFA and CAF.
The immediate preoccupation of the organizers of the proposed independent private leagues is not to be immediately involved in FIFA/CAF competitions, their primary interest is to activate an economic blue print and set up a viable football structure in Nigeria.
All the NFA/NFF need to do is to regulate their activities and give them the enabling environment to operate.
It is a win-win situation for the NFA/NFF, which will entirely unbundle the football sector in Nigeria more players, coaches, back room staff and ancillary football businesses will emerge to create employment and job opportunities.
The independent private league organisers need a long gestation period to realize their potential.
It is also very important to sound it very clearly that the independent private leagues is not for all comers, it’s a capital intensive venture and serious business concern.
The proposed independent private leagues can kick-off with only eight clubs that meet the set standards and play their games in only two standard approved venues every football season.
It’s the substance of the clubs that makes the league tick. The standard of the clubs must be of international best practice.
The NANF shall be making clarifications as more issues are raised by concerned stakeholders.
BY HARRISON JALLA, President (NANF)