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Nigerian football season-ending disaster-class

Nigerian football season-ending disaster-class

Hello everyone, good morning and welcome to Tuesday. It has taken me seven days to write another blog, largely because of different reasons which I will tell you in a bit. First is a disaster, second is a disaster, third is disaster and disaster till the end. But don’t worry, there is good news however because you are reading this, that is good news.

I have lots of catching up to do which I will begin with disasters all over football in Nigeria.

Disaster 1 – Flood

Last weekend, Friday precisely, we had a very heavy downpour in Uyo which is understandable because this is the raining season. Some parts of Uyo is vulnerable to flood due to poor drainage system in the state. The Abak Road axis that I find myself in, is one of the worst-hit areas in Uyo that is prone to flood. My apartment seemingly is well constructed to feign off unwanted water, but this time, the water found its way into the facility.

It had rained for a greater part of the night with waterlogging behind a neighbour’s fence and finally breached through and got into the compound. The neighbours had a good shout after water had taken over the whole place, the water rose above knee level and soaked almost everything that is below that level, that my people, soaked my Tecno Phantom 9, my MacBook Air, My Dell laptop and other things which left me cripple the whole weekend.

It is easy to point accusing fingers at the government who continually boasts of having the best drainage system in Africa. Some parts of Uyo are cutoff with water, major roads blocked, properties of average citizens destroyed without any compensation and politicians will have the gods to open their disgusting mouths and say the state and country is under good leadership. F*ck those cock-sucking motherf*ckers.

That should have been enough trouble for one man but another one happened.

Disaster 2: LMC, NPFL and football club owners

I woke up yesterday to the reports that the League Management Company, the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Football Club Owners Association of Nigeria or whatever the f*ck they call them had a vote to end the 2019/2020 season. First of all, I have to commend them for taking that step, as I mentioned in the podcast last week, it looks very unlikely that the season will be concluded looking at the current situation in the country coupled with government priorities, to engage club owners is the best move I didn’t see coming.

Apparently, majority of the clubs voted that the season should end, which has happened before in this country, not too long ago. 98% of clubs are owned and managed by state governments, currently, some of the state governments decided to enforce salary pay-cut to appointees, complaining that there is no money in the system to run its affairs. They will not in all honesty fund a football club to complete a league season which will run into millions of naira. Most clubs in Nigeria owned by government are owing players and staff salaries, starving people with families of food to eat, so it was always a fancy idea that the season will be concluded.

But why is it a disaster? It is a disaster to use the Point Per Game (PPG) option which automatically pushes teams who play less number of matches up the ladder. I believe Enyimba would have made up for the points if they have the opportunity to play those matches, but there is no way that team would have won all five matches to move second on the table. Rivers United had an unbelievable season, deservingly sitting second behind leaders Plateau United, but will move down to third based on head to head record which they did not play the return fixture.

Lobi Stars who benefited from the cancellation of the league in 2018 and were crowned champions are pointing accusing fingers on the club owners and LMC, saying they conspire to scheme them out of continental places. I am being critical of Lobi Stars right now, two years ago, majority of the clubs accepted they should represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League which they did a terrible job, why are they crying this year? Rivers United should be the team to challenge this anomaly, in my opinion, I think they deserve to play Champions league football.

Disaster 3: Woes for NNL clubs

It is very discouraging that clubs will play, struggle to honour matches, hoping to make that step to top-flight football the following season, just for that effort to be thwarted, spat on and overlooked by the ineptitude of football governing body in the country. No country expected a pandemic, no team prepared for it, but it happened the way it is, people who have genuinely put their hard-earned money into football as a business should reap a reward.

Did club owners consult clubs in the Nigeria National League before they cast the votes? Your guess is as good as mine. How are they going to communicate their decision to these teams is still unclear to me. What will be the reactions of these clubs in the second tier when the decision is forwarded to them? Will clubs in the NNL accept a decision imposed on them? Is there any compensation package to these teams who have endured a torrid season so far? In the coming days, we will soon find out which drama will unfold.

I have lots of pity for teams in the NNL, my opinion is simple, use the same point per game in the NNL, at the end of the calculation, table-toppers in the four groups should be promoted to the NPFL. This is strange times, I’m sure the LMC can organise a 24 team league, just for one season, at the end of the season, eight teams go down to the NNL and normalcy returns to the NPFL. That for me is an option the NFF must consider as they will be the ones to approve the decision of club owners which we know has been forwarded to the LMC.

In France, when the season was canceled, teams were relegated and teams were also promoted. If we are using Ligue 1 as an example, then we must follow their pattern to the later.

___

That is all from me this morning. I’ve bounced back from that little upset with the flood, it was not the only disaster that happened to me last week, Arsenal sadly compounded my woes. I don’t want to say anything about that, so, have a good Tuesday.

****

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