Support league development, SWAN Urges FG

October 31, 2019

The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) calls on the Federal Government to take more than a cursory interest in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with a view to supporting it towards delivering on its potentials; which inturn would engender more growth in the nation’s economy,National Daily learnt.

This call is coming on the backdrop of the 2019/2020 NPFL season billed to kick-off this weekend, without any strong hope of television
broadcast for the games.

SWAN believes strongly that the NPFL needs support and upliftment now, than ever, particularly, with live broadcast.

It is therefore imperative for the federal government to direct its thought to the league and support the development of an industry that can effectively contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

Football leagues across the world have grown into big industries, impacting on the economic, social and cultural life of the people; ours should not be different.

It is no longer tenable for critical stakeholders to just sit and watch while the foreign leagues continue to colonise the interest of our fans, enjoy their patronage and even the sponsorship and promotion of our corporate organisations who rely on them to penetrate our local population.

It’s regrettable that since Supersport pulled out of the broadcast deal with NPFL, the league has been off air for two years. As it were, a new season is about to kick off without any assurance of being on TV. If the league is not broadcast, it may not attract brand sponsorships and the clubs won’t grow; meaning that the league cannot secure its full potentials.

SWAN is also compelled to enlist the federal government to emulate the South African example where the Premier Soccer league has been kept alive and made available to the citizenry, via South Africa Broadcast Commission which was empowered by government to purchase broadcast right for the league, thereby reducing attraction to capital flights in the consumption and corporate promotion of foreign football products.

SWAN recalls that the English Premier league that is admired today was established with a grant of £150m to the founding clubs for upgrade of facilities. We need to learn from these examples towards nation building.”

We suggest that the federal government should, as a matter of urgency, bring the Ministries of Industry and Investment; Information and Culture as well as Youth and Sports Dev’t to interface with a view to building capacity, and strengtheni rng the broadcast sector to play its role  in the sustenance and growth of the league.

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