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Soccer News of Friday, 16 September 2022


Sports Minister bemoans poor state of Nigerian football leagues

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has expressed concern over the poor quality of Nigeria's domestic football leagues.

Speaking at a Media briefing at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Thursday, September 15, the Minister lamented that both the men's and women's domestic leagues are saddled with a plethora of issues among them being unpaid salaries of referees and coaches.

Mr. Dare also disclosed that the club owners have expressed worry about the management of the NPFL by the League Management Company (LMC).

He described the current state of the domestic league as one that is on a cliff edge.

He said, “Between May and August, we did not issue a directive because we wanted the Premier League to complete its season without any disruption. But also, during that period, the ministry made efforts to speak with those in charge. We never got any response.

“As we sit here, our league is on its deathbed. We know the nature of our domestic league. And just yesterday (Wednesday) I got a letter from the club owners. I met with them two weeks ago. I also met with the female football leaders. There’s a letter that came on September 1, I only got it yesterday stating clearly that they have numerous problems with the LMC running the league. Unpaid emoluments, referees are not paid, coaches are not paid.

“So, in May 2022, there was a presidential directive and as a ministry, we applied reasonable judgment and delayed that communication. But at a point when the league ended, and we saw the continuous decline of our football, we thought it was the right time to take the necessary action. And that was what we did. There’s no connection between that decision with the NFF election, it stands alone.”