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Nigerian Football

Again, it is winner-takes-all in the Nigerian Premier League

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NPFL - Only the winner gets financial reward, the rest labour in vain

As a departure from last season, the 20 clubs taking part in the Nigeria Premier League taking off next weekend will not have any take-off grant.

But like the 2022/23 season, it will also be a winner-takes-all device as only the eventual champions are guaranteed of any financial benefit.

According to a press release by Godwin Enakhena, chairman Sporting Lagos and secretary to the club owners’ association, the financial implications of season 2023/24 were spelt out by the NPFL chairman, and by extension,  the NFF 2nd Vice President, Gbenga Elegbeleye.

This has however not gone well with the clubs, if the statement credited to Okey Kpalukwu is anything to go by. He is a double chairman, heading Rivers United and leading the NPFL Club Owners Association.

While appreciating the NPFL for the minimum title prize money of N100 million, he wants the body to look into the issue of take off grant. 

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“We want to commend the NPFL board for informing the clubs that the winner of the league this season will get a minimum of N100m, and that this could be more depending on how much they’re able to attract through sponsorship.

“The clubs are however looking forward to the possibility of take off grants like they enjoyed last season which was N10m. This will go a long way in helping the clubs prosecute few games when the season starts before turning to their sponsors”, stated the Rivers United General Manager.

 Elegbeleye has however promised that the N100m is the baseline prize money to the league winner but that more money could be given  depending on how much sponsorship they’re able to attract before and during the season.

“Let me assure you that the baseline prize money for the winner of the 2023/24 season will be N10m, it could be more but we can’t go lower. Also, we’re working on incentives for the teams during the season”, revealed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 2nd Vice President.

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Nigerian Football

Osimhen’s outburst was a moment of madness, says Amaju

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Former Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President and a  FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has expressed shock at last month’s outburst by Super Eagles’ striker, Victor Osimhen against Finidi George.

“It is very unfortunate”, Amaju Pinnick remarked on an Arise Television programme. The former NFF president said he had put a call to Osimhen who was very remorseful while the telephone conversation lasted.

  “I told him he has to apologise, and I am sure he will if he has not yet done so.” Amaju remarked that he could not comprehend what went wrong as Osimhen was the most cool-headed player in the national team.

He went on to remark that Finidi George was not a personality to be disregarded like that. He has won virtually every honour available during his playing days and was a member of the Super Eagles at their peak when Nigeria ranked fifth in the world.

“I believe players should learn to respect their coaches”, said the former NFF boss.

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Nigerian Football

I prefer a foreign coach for the Super Eagles, says Amaju

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Nigeria’s FIFA Council member, Amaju Pinnick has told the world that he has always been an advocate of foreign coaches for the Super Eagles. He spoke on Arise Television while fielding questions with Reuben Abati, Rufai Oseni and Ayo Mairo-Ese. 

His reason for being averse to indigenous  coaches stemmed from lack of respect for them by the players.

“Yes, the Nigerian coaches have the requisite knowledge and the technical ability, but modern football is beyond that in managing players.

“Will the national team players respect the coach? The sad thing is that they don’t”, said Amaju Pinnick.

 He however revealed that he supported the appointment of Finidi George owing to the circumstances that the NFF found itself after the exit of Jose Peseiro.

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 The NFF, he revealed, had no money to hire a foreign coach. The body therefore went for the most available option, Finidi to ensure a smooth transition.

 “Finidi was part of the coaching crew of Peseiro and it was therefore logical to ask him to continue.

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Nigerian Football

NFF to train referees on VAR

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Application of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)  may soon be introduced into Nigeria’s domestic football competitions.

This is deduced from the statement of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Ibrahim Gusau while addressing the annual general meeting of the Nigeria Premier League.

He also disclosed plans by the federation to train Nigerian referees on the application Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Gusau revealed that  NFF had already secured the communication gadget that the referees will use during matches.

“We have to train the personnel that will manage the VAR now. We have selected some of the referees that we are to start training.

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It is not a training of one day, one month or two months; it is a training that will take a little bit of time. After the training they have to go on practical training on the VAR system by going out while some matches are ongoing to see how they can manage it. But when we are sure we have the personnel that can manage it in the next one or two years, we will start to see how we can use VAR in our system,” Gusau said.

He also said that the federation intends to make the league attractive by discouraging Nigerian players from joining other lesser glamourous African clubs without established football pedigree.

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