By Richard Akintade, Osogbo.
The first week of next month as been named as a tentative date for the start of the new league season ROYAL NEWS has gathered.
The Executive Secretary, NPFL Club Owners, Mr. Alloy Chukwuemeka, disclosed this on Wednesday at an interactive session with newsmen in Osogbo the capital of Osun State, during the monthly Sport Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) stakeholders forum, tagged “SWAN Platform”.
According to the Executive Secretary, the NPFL Club Owners have received a proposal from the League Management Company that the league start by first week of December, explaining that the proposal would be considered at the Annual General Meeting of the Club Owners.
Chukwuemeka, who is also the General Manager, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Football Club, Ilorin, Kwara. State, commended the LMC for turning the league around saying it is now attractive with many firms lobbying to be part of it.
“The LMC as turn 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 was why lots of firms want to be part of the Nigeria Professional Football League.”
The football administrator while answering questions on moving football and sports generally forward in the state, insisted that a return to the grassroots through school sports was the only way to fish out exceptional talents.
He revealed that the Kwara Football Academy gives ABS FC ten of its best players every season through a partnership that exists 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 there culture. Football community ownership is very important.”
On the controversy trailing the final NNL match between ABS FC and Gateway FC, Chukwuemeka countered claims that there few security men at the stadium, maintaining that there were about seventy-eight policemen at the stadium that day.
He condemned the action of the Ogun state commissioner of sports who ordered Gateway FC players not to play the match, stressing that it contravenes the rules guiding the game and operations of the NNL.
He expressed the belief that the NFF 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 apllauded the efforts and impact of Super Eagles coach, Genart Rohr.
Chukwuemeka who is also a National Officer of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria however commended Osun SWAN for the Monthly Stakeholders Forum and promised to take the programme to other states across the federation.