Thursday, 21 May 2015

Opinion: LMC and this compulsory three weeks break

By Amos Joseph
The League management Company (the body saddled with the responsibility of organizing and coordinating the league in Nigeria) has announced a three weeks break in the 2014/2015 league after match day 10.
In fact, the Chairman of the LMC Mallam Shehu Dikko said the break period would be used amongst other things to carry out spot checks on Clubs’ compliance with the NFF Clubs Certification Regulations and also allow the clubs Managers some space to engage meaningfully with the new political leadership in their respective states.

''You may wish to recall that we started the league with blanket provisional waiver to the clubs to allow them comply with all registration requirements before Match Day 9 when a review will be conducted by the LMC. The break period is also a time to revisit club stadium facilities to remedy observed defects as the clubs have so far operated with provisional certificates" the LMC Chairman added (as quoted on the body;s website).

Mallam Dikko said the break had also become necessary to allow the club managers time to "acquaint themselves and engage meaningfully with their respective new Governor-owners."

The League will now resume June 14 with games of Match Day 11, some stakeholder have berated the decision to put the league to a halt at this point in time.

Meanwhile, Coach of Enyimba, Kadiri Ikhana expressed his displeasure with the action and stated that it is a setback for teams especially his own side.

''Its very bad for the League, very bad for the teams and its likely to give us a big setback, he told football in an interview.

''Why do we need a break, I don’t see the reason why or what we need the break for. Everybody is playing their game, we should be allowed to play on, its to bad.''

His team just bounced to winning ways with victory over Dolphins FC and their most recent over Elkanemi on Wednesday which saw the team land third spot on the log with 18 points from 10 matches. 

It is also worthy of note that some team are yet to find their feet in the campaign and would not mind having a break to fine tune or restrategize on their tactics and approach to the league.

I saw on the news how fans of Lobi Stars protested when their team failed to record a win, but until match day 10 the team recorded its first win in the campaign against Heartland FC on Wednesday. 

Other teams rocking the bottom of the log are also caught in this web and would also be glad that this break is coming at a time as this. But that is not to say that they would do better when the league returns if nothing is done during the break. 

Flowing from the above, the intentions of the LMC is clear and not far from the obvious truth since most clubs in the league are owned by government. It is move in which every stakeholder would benefit from. 

Elections were held in over 20 states across the federation with virtually all these states having a team in the Premier League, some can boast of two, like Rivers and Abia state. The government is the sole financier of most clubs and come May 29th, 2015, power will change hands as the baton would be passed to Governors elect in concerned states which will affect every affair of the state including funding of football club in a way depending on the interest of the government of the day.

LMC is however left with no choice but to pause and allow the transitions processing happen to ensure stability.

Meanwhile, for football reason, Coach Ikhana and some other who may be feeling the postponement is uncalled for may be justified to an extent based on the impressive performance of their teams which they would love to keep the momentum going. But it should also be noted that the football business is beyond the field of play and every stakeholder need to be aware of this fact. 

Simply put, our clubs have been thriving on government funds which means they would be affected by their activities. Many have termed this as unhealthy for the development of our football and kudos must go to the privately owned clubs like Giwa et al as we also look forward to seeing more individual with genuine interest in Nigerian football development buying up clubs and take our game to the next level. 

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