A deep look into club football in the country reveals that poor funding is mainly responsible for why these clubs are finding it difficult to match other nations.
Of the 20 clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), only IfeanyiUbah FC, MFM FC, Ikorodu United FC and Giwa FC are privately owned. State governments fund the rest. Even before the down turn in the country’s economy, most states have never really considered these clubs as big businesses that should be managed as such. Instead, they are employing learners to run football administration.
It is a known fact that unless the private sector decides to inject its energy and funds into sports in Nigeria, we will continue to operate on the abysmal level we are in now. Football, which seems to see the bulk of funding, is even losing out because state governments, who are finding it difficult to pay the minimum wage to civil servants, own most of the club sides.
To the loving followers of soccer in the country, signs of failure have been flashing back in 2013 when Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations. The question from many soccer pundits is: How did our football get to this poor state? When just three years ago Nigeria was Africa’s champions?
The decline in Nigeria’s football could be attributed to steady rancor in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Also, a deep look into the club football in the country reveals that poor funding has been responsible for why these clubs are finding it difficult to match others in North Africa and elsewhere.
To this end, Chi Limited, in furtherance of its continued support for sports and commitment to youth development in Nigeria, recently participated in the finals of the just concluded Lagos state principal’s cup. A renowned soccer tournament rated as one of the biggest grassroots football competitions in Nigeria; the tournament comprises inter-secondary school soccer amongst schools in Lagos.
Thousands of students across the state who thronged the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos to witness the final match were entertained with delightful football skills and refreshed with Chivita 100% fruit juice by brand ambassadors. Some of the students took out time to enquire about the Chivita 100% “JuiceBall” campaign which they had seen and heard about. Staff of Chi Ltd were on hand to answer all their questions in an engaging and exciting way.
For Shola Olaogun, a student of Onitolo Grammar School, Surulere Lagos, He thanked the management of Chi Limited for also identifying with the Lagos State Principals’ Cup and the opportunity it brings. “By identifying with the Principals’ Cup Chivita 100% fruit juice encourages us to excel and not settle for less than the best” he added.
According to Chi Limited’s Head of Marketing, Probal Bhattacharya, “for us at Chi Limited, we recognize the power of sports for social good. Our support for sports in Nigeria is predicated on its hugely positive impact on development goals including improving health, education and community cohesion as well as communicate important messages to a range of different audiences. Through our flagship brand Chivita 100% fruit juice, we shall continue to offer refreshment and nourishment necessary for youth development and sports”.
Written by Anthony Nlebem
This post was syndicated from BusinessDay