Africa

CONTINENTAL STRUGGLES: Motivate Clubs with incentives, Nigerians tell govt, management

CONTINENTAL STRUGGLES: Motivate Clubs with incentives, Nigerians tell govt, management

Football fans has called on the government to properly motivate Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, clubs with cash incentives for every goal scored to increase their chances of progressing to the next round of the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively.

Plateau United, Kano Pillars and Rivers United had a poor start to their continental campaigns, the trio losing their 1st leg preliminary round last weekend, with Plateau United suffering a blow at home against Tanzanian giants, Simba SC, losing 0-1 at the New Jos Stadium.

Kano Pillars were beaten 3-1 in Dakar by ASC Jaaraf while Rivers United suffered a 2-1 loss to Futuro Kings in Equatorial Guinea. Enyimba FC had a successful outing in the continent, winning 1-0 away at Rahimo FC.

Although these results does not necessary mean NPFL teams will be eliminated, but Nigerians believe if government and management of the clubs do not motivate these players with cash incentives for a win and for every goal scored, Nigeria might have just one representative on the continent.

Plateau United lost at home to Simba SC in last weekend in the Champions League preliminary round
Plateau United lost at home to Simba SC in last weekend in the Champions League preliminary round

Speaking to The Athletic NG, Chinedu Emmanuel, a sports reporter with the medium believes Nigerian clubs are much better than what they produced, but lacks proper motivation.

“You have to understand these players are human and they are competing with clubs who are well prepared and their league started in time for them to be match fit and are sharper than our players. The NPFL is yet to start, by the time that comes around this weekend, if at all it will start, the teams will be playing the second legs on the continent.

“This is not good practice, it does not help the clubs in any way, they need incentives and other motivations to perform at their optimum best.”

Rivers United scored a vital away goal in their 2-1 lost away to Futuro Kings
Rivers United scored a vital away goal in their 2-1 lost away to Futuro Kings

Godwin Antai, a sports presenter with Passion FM, Uyo told The Athletic NG that NPFL clubs are behind in their preparations and that is why they lost scandalously.

“Look at Plateau United, the best team in the country last season, lost at home to Simba SC. That is not Abdul Maikaba’s team. They are not match fit, they didn’t look sharp and struggled at home. If they are to stand a chance of qualification, they must be motivated properly because they have not been helped by the league management body and the government.

“Promise these players cash incentives for every goal scored and they will be battle ready.”

“Barr. Nyesom Wike is a sports loving Governor,” Prince Amaechi who lives in Port Harcourt told The Athletic NG. “We know Rivers United have a very good squad, but with the league yet to start, they have not regain that match fitness, but if the Governor promises any cash incentive, I think the players even the coaches will be more motivated to beat their opponent.”

Usman Abdullahi, a sports enthusiast from Kano State believes Kano Pillars must qualify for the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup and calls on the government to assist them overcome the 3-1 deficit they suffered in Dakar.

“We have a good team, it is a shame that we (fans) will not be there to cheer them to victory, but the government can make promises to them, tell them if you win and qualify, this is what you will get as a reward.”

Enyimba is the only NPFL club to record victory last weekend, beating Rahimo FC 1-0 away from home
Enyimba is the only NPFL club to record victory last weekend, beating Rahimo FC 1-0 away from home

While fans in Aba are optimistic Enyimba have already qualified for the next round, they call on Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to promise the Peoples’ Elephant cash incentive for every goal they will score.

“We are very happy with the away win,” Timothy Agbai said. We are optimistic Enyimba will win the second leg, but the government should make it very interesting by offering them money for every goal scored and they will score ten.”

Plateau United have a difficult task of overturning a 1-0 deficit when they travel to Tanzania, Kano Pillars will hope a 3-1 loss to ASC Jaaraf will not be too much to overturn while Rivers United will hope to win at home against Futuro Kings.

The second leg of the 1st round tie will be played between 4th and 6th of December, 2020.

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Copyright 2020 The Athletic NG. Permission to use this article or any part of it is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.theathletic.com.ng as the source.

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