The Nigeria Football Federation, yesterday, announced the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), which has now been replaced by a board to be headed by IMC’s former chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye.
Elegbeleye, a former deputy chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Youth and Sports, and also a former Director-General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), headed the IMC that brilliantly executed the last NPFL season and the Championship Play-off, drawing high praise from the NFF and stakeholders in general.
Also on the new NPFL board are Mallam Mohammed Nasiru Sa’idu, Poubeni Ogun, former Super Eagles’ star, Daniel Amokachi, Dr. Okey Kpalukwu, Mallam Suleiman Umar and former Super Eagles striker, Dominic Iorfa.
Danlami Ibrahim will serve as secretary/legal adviser, while the Chief Operating Officer is Prince Davidson Owumi.
The new NPFL board has a two-year tenure, same as the boards of the Nigeria National League, the Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nation-Wide League One that were inaugurated on Monday.
Meanwhile, NPFL’s partners, GTI Asset Management & Trust Limited, has urged individuals, philanthropists and corporate Nigeria to take advantage of the ongoing revolution in the country’s elite club football to invest into professional league clubs.
According to Head, GTI Media and Publicity, Andrew Ekejiuba, his firm’s entrance into the country’s football ecosystem has paved way for elite club football to thrive.
He said that after the successful hosting of 2022/2023 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) Championship play-offs and the just concluded Naija Super Eight pre-season tourney, at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena Onikan, Lagos, has clearly demonstrated that the upcoming NPFL season is going to be keenly contested with massive followership for each of the 20 clubs expected to do battle.
“This is a clarion call GTI is making to individuals, philanthropists and Corporate Nigeria to take advantage of the ongoing revolution that elite club football is witnessing in the country and invest in them.
“There is nowhere in the world that government is saddled with the responsibility of elite club ownership because it is capital intensive and pure business. From the English Premiership, German Bundesliga, South African Premier League and Italia Serie A the story remains the same.
“Government at all levels can only involve themselves in elite club football by creating conducive and secured environment for club football to thrive. Nothing more!
“From the Local Council level to state and federal governments, government has much in their hands, like taking care of the welfare of its citizens and for those who venture into club football in Nigeria only use it for political aggrandizement which is not good for football development in the country,” Ekejiuba stated.
He disclosed that GTI and the major broadcast partner of the league, Propel Sports Africa, has stepped up preparations ahead of the new season as production equipment to be used for the OTT live streaming of matches is expected to arrive in the country soon.
“The equipment to be used by our major NPFL broadcast partner, Propel Sports Africa is expected in the country few days from now and this has justified the intention of GTI to ensure that NPFL matches are streamed live this upcoming season via our mobile devices.
“This development will enable NPFL’s global soccer fans to savour Nigeria’s fast-rising league matches via their mobile devices which has never happened before in the history of our elite league.
“The equipment which is expected into the country includes AI cameras and sensitive production materials that will guarantee viewers globally an opportunity to watch our elite league seamlessly.
“This development will also help create a lot of jobs, content for the league and attract corporate brands that will leverage on this opportunity provided by the NPFL to showcase their goods and services. Thus, it is anticipated that the league will be able to generate revenues over the years with the new initiative that has been provided,” he said.