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Monday, September 25, 2017

Ways to make Nigerian Football more Interesting and Attractive

Written by: Madami Sabina, Liko

I remember back then, even as a female child, I would sit with the other adults and watch Nigerian football with so much anxiety and loud shouts whenever Nigerian players made a good move or scored a goal. It was a very beautiful assembly.

But recently, following the popularity of foreign football through the help of cables, Nigerian football has become unattractive and far lagging behind as a result of corruption and inadequate technology.

How to Make Nigerian Football Attractive in a Digital Age

1. Attractive Salary
Unlike in the foreign countries, where players are paid handsome and attractive salaries, in Nigeria players are owed salaries and sometimes end up not being paid or receive only a little token from what is expected. Just as the sociology Scholar, Efrin Goffman proposed, informal organizations, rewards are a good motivation for improving performance in any organization. When Nigerian players are well paid, it will serve as a very good motivation to encourage footballers to play beautifully and attract the lost interest back to Nigerian football.

2. Curb Corruption
The officials of the NFF must be held accountable for how the sporting allocations are spent. Every year we have a large chunk of money budgeted for sports but which end up in the bank accounts of corrupt sports officers. This ugly attitude where money meant for sporting equipment, training tours, facility development and maintenance is stolen must be addressed. 
Since sport in Nigeria is intrinsically linked to politics, and as such, most people in administrative positions are not there on merit but through patronage, this poses many problems especially given the many administrative challenges facing the NFF. This must be stopped too for any development to take place.

3. Talent Hunt
Adequate strategies should be put in place to discover talented footballers who are sometimes in remote areas that cannot be discovered from afar. And this is to ensure that only the best get picked based on merit and not just connection. 

This will go a long way in encouraging young youths all around to develop their skills and talent and it will bring great attraction to Nigeria football which will be a display of skills and talents of youths all around the country and not just a park of lost sheep's without a Shepard.

4. Media Coverage
On radio, television and sports pages of Nigerian newspaper, reporters prefer to report foreign leagues. Surprisingly, on radio sports show, many so-called sports analysts do not have information about the Nigerian tournaments compared to the unlimited statistics at their fingertips on European leagues. 

There are only a handful of journalists who can mention 10 players, and the highest goal scorer in the Nigerian League. Without effective media coverage, the league will continue to decline. If the media can give as much attention as they give to European leagues, it will go a long way in developing the league. 

5. Increase Online Presence
The LMC and clubs like Heartland, Lobi Stars, Sunshine Stars, Enyimba, Shooting Stars and Warri Wolves among others must be commended for their concerted efforts in increasing their online presence especially providing real-time tweets of match proceedings on twitter. But, more efforts are still required so that sports journalists can access information to write their stories. They can start by launching an active website. 

6. Improved Stadium
According to Bosah Chinedu of Education Right Campaign (ERC), the situation for Nigeria football has been worsened by poor organization and decaying infrastructure. Inadequate funding compounded the crisis with Nigerian football.

A good stadium attracts good football. This is a reason why European football is attractive. Despite the fact the League Management Company (LMC) Limited has placed bans on some stadiums, this has not led to the improvement of stadiums. Many of these stadiums are in a state of disrepair with inadequate facilities and overgrown grasses. The LMC should support the clubs to upgrade these stadiums to make them beautiful and attractive for national and international leagues.


At such a time as this with so much Religious and ethnic crisis nepotism and tribalism, in the midst of battle and rumbles of war that has made us lose our sense of reasoning, upgrading and improving the Nigeria football is exactly what is needed, since football is the only thing that has demonstrated the capacity to promote peace, love, friendship, togetherness, brotherhood and fellowship among the vast people of Nigeria, where we watch anxiously as one Nigeria, not as Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba.

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