The football community in Nigeria woke up on Friday September 9, 2022 to a press statement from the Sports Ministry scraping the Shehu Dikko led League Management Company – LMC .
From the opening lines of the press statement, the unpleasant incidents regarding the management of the football league was one of if not the major reason for the scrap of the League Management Company .
In a rather confusing twist , the Sports Ministry while ordering the NFF to setup an interim management committee to run the Nigerian Professional Football League – NPFL , directed it be headed by the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the scraped LMC whose management of the scraped body contributed to the mentioned ‘ unpleasant incidents ‘ .
The disputed section of the press statement read thus; ” immediately withdraw the Licence given to the LMC and, in the meantime, set up an Interim Management Committee (IMC), to include the current Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of the LMC to oversee the affairs of the League until a proper Professional League Board is constituted in accordance with the Statutes of the NFF . ”
This implies that , Alhaji Shehu Dikko who was the Chief Executive Officer is retained alongside the Chief Operating Officer of the scraped LMC , to take charge of the NPFL , a new name for the same system , what does it hold for the league.
The big question now is ” If you sack the former association headed by him for not doing well, why put him in charge of a newly formed one and expect a different result or was it a name challenge ?
And, Will this bring the much needed change or are we staying on the same system that has turned the NPFL to a battle ground ?
Too many reasons may have contributed to the failure of the LMC but it will be odd to exempt the principal officers on whose table the big decisions fell on .
While not pre-empting the constitution and system for the proposed Interim Management Company , a departure from the current system will benefit the NPFL more .
A new system where Sponsors feel safe to invest in a league with a clearly defined time table , level playing field for all teams, consistent interpretation of rules , prompt payment of Indemnities to match officials , etc.
What is important to Nigerian football followers is not the name of the supervising body , whether LMC or IMC , what they want is a professionally administered league .
If Shehu Dikko and the proposed Interim Management Company can guarantee the expected changes to reposition the league , goodluck and best wishes ahead of the 2022/2023 NPFL season .