President 36 Lion Football Club, Alhaji Gafar Liameed, has condemned the emergence of the proposed Nigeria Private Investors Football League (NPIFL), warning that except the aggrieved club owners come to terms with NFF, the private clubs would continue to wallow in the challenges inherent.
Liameed questioned the intent of the new league wondering whether it is for recreational purposes or a professional league, while addressing the issue on a foremost Whatsapp platform NSM Rebranded.
“I never for one second support the idea of a private league. What I said was that it is an interesting idea and then asked what type of license are the conveyors of this idea seeking from NFF? A recreational or a professional league license? Will NFF give a professional league license that will contravene NPFL and NNL? I don’t think so.”
Hajj Gafar noted that breaking away to form a private league by the private club owners because they are not getting their investment’s value is not a good idea.
“Breaking away to form a private league because we are not getting our investment’s value is not a good idea.
“We must also know that FIFA allows only one professional league per country and besides most of us private clubs are not fully professional yet so now do we want to leave our semi professional status and become amateurs?
“Yes football is a huge business, making maximum profit should be the end result but who are the owners of the business or the conductors? In Nigeria, It is NFF so we must adhere to NFF’s rules and regulations.
“You can’t get a certain fry chicken franchise and decided you want to fry your own way because fry chicken is fry chicken.
For me as a private club owner, competitions with government clubs is my benchmark. I also think government should stay in football as long as possible. because for now private clubs cannot afford reasonable salaries for normal professional players in Nigeria. Some government clubs pay between 500 Thousand to a Million Naira per month which is still not enough as far as I am concerned. An average Nigeria professional footballer should earn at least 4 million Naira monthly. Can we private clubs pay that right now or anytime soon?
“Majority of us agitate for government’s hands off football yet we triumphantly accept government clubs appointment when called upon. What is that? Hypocrisy? If government hands off football today. Football will die tomorrow.
“Certain group of players like the legend Victor Ezeji will never play outside Nigeria and private clubs will never be able to afford them. Football is life but the life might be miserable after football if care is not taken.
“The challenge facing Nigeria football is not anyone’s fault. It is a challenge facing Nigeria. The economy has to be balance before football can thrive,” he concluded.