Hi everyone, good morning, and welcome to a brand new blog. Today is Wednesday and I keep asking my wife what day it is, that is the problem of staying at home, you lose track of even the easiest thing as a date.
What are we discussing today as nothing tangible seems to happen in Nigeria? In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about Vandrezzer Football Club’s decision to suspend the contract of players, coaches, and backroom staff, the sports journalist Kufre Carter who is in the SSS net, and the struggles of the Akwa Ibom State government in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. If you haven’t had the chance to read about that, the link is here.
The uncertainties over the resumption of football and other sports continue with the news that French Ligue 1 and 2 seasons will not resume after French Prime Minister Eduoard Philippe declared an end to all sporting events in France until September.
That decision has put other federations like the English FA, German Bundesliga who are billed to restart the season on May 9. The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte announced the first steps in lifting the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
At this point, what is happening out there may not really affect the decision in Nigeria. We are on a different planet altogether because it seems the rest of the world is ahead of us in the fight against COVID-19.
The disease has not gone full circle ‘yet’ in Nigeria, but the indices indicate we might be heading that way if more testing is carried out. The only state that is doing what is closed to aggressive testing (Lagos) is pulling away from others in the COVID championship table.
With the kind of country we find ourselves, I am not in any way skeptical of my country, but we may find ourselves in a very difficult situation in regards to sports and other activities.
I for one think it is a mistake to ease lockdown in some states, especially Lagos who has recorded more cases than any other state. Last night, the NCDC reported 195 new cases, 80 in Lagos, making the total number to 1,532.
While other countries are recording in tens of thousands, Nigeria is only getting to 1,500 plus, but the only difference is that others have practically stopped the number of new cases.
The news of Vandrezzer FC suspending contracts of staff is an eye-opener and what may likely follow. Government-owned teams like Yobe Desert Stars had already decided to slash 75% of their player’s salaries, which has not gone down well with many.
Though most of the football clubs in Nigeria are owned by government who might be able to sustain them, but what happens to teams funded by individuals and private sector; what happens to state governments who are funding two teams like in Akwa Ibom State (Akwa United and Dakkada FC)?
All these questions will be answered by our actions and inactions of the government, health workers and the rest of us. The sooner the government takes the right decision and implement the right measures, the better for all of us.
That’s all from me today. Thank you very much for reading.
The Athletic NG will undergo major changes in the coming days. So if you experience any difficulties, please bear with us as we strive to serve you better.
As always, stay at home to stay alive. Till tomorrow, football will soon return.