NPFL: Struggle Continues

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By Yemi Sodeeq

‘If we fail to do the right thing, the dynamism of the way we operate will always present more consuming challenges’

For the past three seasons, Nigeria Professional Football League has ended in a most unusual manner. In 2017/2018, it had to sacrifice it laws for expediency in the face of CAF deadline as the league ended abrubtly.

The following season as a manifestation of the previous expediency had an operation structure which ran contrary to normal standard of setting up a competitive league. The league was literarily and structurally divided into two and a Super 6/NPFL Championship was held in Lagos to determined the overall champion of 2018/2019 season.

Later, it was clear that many teams couldn’t stand the test of that format which demands a more expanded wherewithal  to stay afloat the attendant challenges.

Here we are this season, thinking we have actually moved beyond the rhetorics of abruptness, Covid-19 pandemic forced us to another nightmare and Point Per Game (PPG) basis have been used to rescue yet another contraption.

The fact that all the eventualities that has befallen us in the last three seasons consumed the league and rendered its management helpless shows we still have a long way to go in meeting up with the reality of the game.

As long as expediency continues to rule above the laws, the far the journey to the utopia of our league system becomes.

One thing is certain; challenges will always surface, but the doggedness to stick by the rules is the most important thing to scale through, find a way around every situation and maximize available solutions.

While this season experience looks different because of a natural occurrence, the last two seasons had defiled the rules in their entirety – although they yet count.

Lessons must have been learnt by now and as we move on to the next season, stakeholders and appropriate authority will need to do all the needful to raise the bar of the league in order to help it stand tall above any further challenges.

Meanwhile, other tiers of the league are also grappling with what seems to be no absolute difference in the scourge facing the top flight- instability.

The only wisdom for us is to play by the rules as guided by the international best way of practices- No miracle.

With the 2020/2021 season in the offing, the League Management Company still have enough time to redefine the modus operandi of the league and create leverage which will build fortitude for it in the face of any challenges.

No country of the world as we have seen is prepared for coronavirus and yet, Nations have been able to capitalise on their existing health schemes to tackle the novel pandemic.

If we fail to do the right thing, the dynamism of the way we operate will always present more consuming challenges

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