Nigeria has a lot of football fans. A lot of them watch international events like the World Cup, the Women’s Cup, the Europa League and so on. However the Nigerian football league is yet to be as popular as these. The English Premier League is a league played within the United Kingdom which is one country, but it has fans around the world. Why is this? Why would a national league become so popular that even many Africans, Americans and Europeans watch it more than anything else? The Nigerian football league is yet to attain something close to this. This article talks about ways to improve the national football league of Nigeria. A lot of Nigeria’s best footballers who play in other countries first began with the Nigerian League. There are many youngsters in Nigeria who will become legends when the Nigerian national league gets better. The ways to improve the national football league of Nigeria are below.
Increase coverage by the media
The media coverage of the national league of Nigeria is still low compared to other countries. However the government can do something about this. It was discovered that many Nigerian stations including government stations do not even cover what is happening in the national league but they will cover the ones happening in other countries with up-to-date information. Nigerian newspapers, television and radio stations and reporters talk more about the sports festivals taking place in other countries and talk less of the national league of Nigeria. Even government reporters are not an exception. It is a fact that very few journalists in Nigeria will mention the players of the national league and the highest goal scorer. Low coverage of the national league by both private and government television and radio stations causes a decline for the league. The Nigerian league would gain more attention similar to the leagues of other countries with more media coverage. The government of Nigeria can make policies that will make it compulsory for radio and television stations to talk about the national league of Nigeria. Private radio and television stations can improve the league by talking more about it. Such policies are yet to be found in Nigeria and this have some impact on the way government television and radio stations transmit information to the people of Nigeria.
The main sponsor of the national league of Nigeria is a telecommunication company, Glo. There are other such companies in Nigeria who can join Glo to sponsor the national league. Why would it be only Glo that is the major sponsor? There is need for more sponsors to encourage footballers who play at a local level. The government of Nigeria should put the national league on its primary agenda if the league is going to make a headway. More sponsors will boost the national league and will ensure teams pay their players. It will encourage the organization of the league. Other companies in Nigeria should not leave only Glo to sponsor the league. The Nigerian national league is for all Nigerians.
The Italians, the English and other European counter built very attractive stadiums making them more attractive to football fans. A lot of the stadiums in Nigeria need reconstruction even though the body managing the league in Nigeria which is the League Management Company banned many of the stadiums. These stadiums need reconstruction or renovation. You will see that some of these grasses in these Nigerian stadiums are not nurtured properly. The government of Nigeria should award more contracts for the renovation or reconstruction of stadiums for the national football league of Nigeria.
Enhancing safety of fans
There are reports within the national league of Nigeria about the threatening and brutalising of Nigerian football officials by the opposition. Such culprits should be fished out and measures applied to stop the menace. Some Nigerians do not visit local stadiums because they see them as not properly organised in terms of the safety of fans and officials.
Encouraging private club ownership
The owners of the English Premier League are not even from England but from Arab countries like the UAE and so on who bought the league. Private club ownership should be encouraged in Nigeria. Private sector participation in the national league of Nigeria is still very low compared to the European national league. FC Ifeanyiubah and Giwa FC are examples of private clubs in Nigeria. Private sector participation will boost the National League the way the Arabs are boosting the leagues in Europe. You will notice that jerseys worn by players in the English Premier League, La Liga and other European teams have write-ups like ‘Qatar Airways’, ‘Fly Emirates’ and so on. These write-ups have their origins from the Arabs from UAE and other countries who sponsor and own these European leagues. This is because private sector participation have made it possible for these Arabs to buy and sponsor these European leagues. The Nigerian government can enact policies that will encourage the private sector to participate in the national league of Nigeria. These policies will make more firms or corporate bodies to join hands with the government in forming a national league that is interesting and fascinating to people both within and outside Nigeria. It is through these ways that the Nigerian League will become comparable to other national leagues.