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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Making Nigerian Football Attractive in a Digital Age

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor Gospel

Nigeria as a developing nation, has the resources and manpower to accomplish the expectations of an ideal society, and be able to compete strongly with most developed nations. Perhaps, that justifies the reason why she prides as the "Giant of Africa". Nigeria is blessed in so many facets of life, of which includes the field of sports, with football soaring in the limelight, due to her unwavering struggle for relevance in the world of sports. The mere mention of the phenomenon “digital age” rings a bell of awareness, and brings to the consciousness of the people, the emergence of advanced technology (information computerization), of which has become the driving force of modernization in this 21st century.

Indisputably, Nigeria has occupied a prestigious position in the world of African football and prides as one of the most successful African football nation. The cankerworm ravaging the fabrics of the Nigerian football sector in this digital age is not obscure, and can be conquered and eradicated upon immediate discovery, so as to make the Nigerian football system more appealing and attractive to both the local and international communities. 

Unfortunately, every day by day, instead of the forces of the Nigerian football system to wax stronger, it is astronomically growing weaker; and even the blind can observe that there are problems militating against the progress of Nigerian football, in this digital age. These problems repel lovers of football, and closes entirely the door of entry, against intending lovers of football, thereby making football take a back seat at the mention of Nigerian sporting events. 

The attractiveness of the Nigerian football in this digital age can be enhanced by adopting several remedial measures. Firstly, is the need for abolition of political interference in Nigerian football.  The government should refrain from the full funding of football affairs but should allow sponsors, philanthropists or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to fund them, or contribute more than half of the requirements. This will spur the eradication of corruption in the football system. Corrupt entities within the Nigerian football will be sanctioned, removed and prosecuted, so as to boost the confidence and interest of the society in Nigerian football.

Secondly, is the need for technological advancement in the Nigerian football system. Technology has proven to be an unforfeitable prerequisite for advancement in this 21st century. The Goal Line Technology (GLT) which is used to determine in greater accuracy when a ball crosses the goal line between the goal posts and under the crossbar, should be made prevalent in Nigerian football as it will resolve disputable goals. Improvement in football transmission and communication, by the procurement of quality transmitters that will send out breathtaking signals, and without much ado, bring lots of television viewers and radio listeners, thereby enhancing public enlightenment. In addition, the adoption of online football ticketing system, will reduce rowdy movements at the stadium, as people would no longer come to the stadium and struggle to procure tickets before entering. 

Thirdly, is the need to acquire committed players, coach and football officials. When determined personnel occupy the Nigerian football arena, sleeping and bored eyes will be reawakened, as they will strive to witness and observe the happenings in the Nigerian football sector. When the good coach instructs, good players exhibit, and credible football officials put things in order, the quality of football and entertainment is heightened for all and sundry to enjoy.

Lastly, is the need for the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to rectify the poor football league system in Nigeria, by making it more organized, and encouraging sponsorship from various companies so as to make football more fortified. They would ensure that standard football stadiums are built with exquisite designs, equipped with adequate modern day facilities, and advanced security measures adopted to prevent hooligans from unleashing mayhem in the football arena. At the same time providing adequate rewards that will motivate achievers to keep the fire of football burning.

In Conclusion, it may seem a herculean task to revive the gored-glory and attractiveness of the Nigerian football. But all hope is not lost, because when various issues such as the political interference, poor technological advancement, lack of committed players, coach and officials, poor league system, lack of sponsorship, insecurity etc., are dealt with in the Nigerian Football system, the rebirth and emergence of a fascinating and attractive Nigerian football, would be a reality in this digital age, and this welcomed development would place smiles on the face of the people.

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