Former Gombe Football Association Chairman, Ahmed Shuaibu Gara-Gombe, has said that the rescheduling, again, of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) till next week was a result of having wrong people managing the league, which he said was inimical to the growth of the country’s football.
The 2020/2021 NPFL season earlier rescheduled to start this weekend was unexpectedly moved again.
According to a statement on Thursday, Club Owners’ scribe said the league was being postponed to allow clubs playing in CAF club competitions to complete their first-round games so that all teams could begin the season at the same time.
This is, however, in contrast with the standard in much-developed leagues in Europe where the dates for the new season and fixtures are kept religiously while alteration on some match fixtures are done only when the need arises.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Gara-Gombe wondered why the league should be postponed. He opined that since the administrators knew there was going to be CAF club competitions this weekend, they ought not to have picked the date for the start of the league.
“The questions I have for them are: Are they telling us that they don’t know that within this period, there are going to be CAF competitions? Because I know the fixtures for the competition had been ready for almost three months now.
“Do they want to tell me they are not aware that CAF competitions were going to be in place? That is what you get in terms of club performance when the league does not end and you declare champions so that the highest bidder will just go and play in the continental championships. This is also what you get when you have people with a questionable character running your league,” he said.
Gara-Gombe also spoke about other issues on which the League Management Company has failed to offer satisfactory explanations to the public.
He said: “We were in this country when Super Sports came and agreed to sponsor the league before they exited. Up till today, we’ve not been given any reason(s) why the LMC didn’t take them to court to explain why Super Sports stopped?
“Glo, our own telecom company with all what they have done for Nigerian sports, especially football, also exited from sponsoring the league and nobody told Nigerians what happened. Or is the LMC not supposed to inform us about what really happened?
“As I speak to you, the Sports Minister gave the LMC money to kick-start the league. They have spent the money and they have not started the league. When the minister asked why they had not started the league, they said the money had finished; that they used it to settle debts.
“The LMC debts will never finish. I keep on saying that in as much as we don’t jail one or two persons for corrupt practices, nothing is ever going to change in Nigerian football. The former Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, had the opportunity to change it, but failed because he compromised.”