• Tue. May 28th, 2024

Fumbling in the Dark: Another NPFL Season

ByJokanola Bolaji

Aug 15, 2023

It’s 2023 and it has been a recurring issue of what appears to be a classic case of putting the cart before the horse, the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Board has yet again displayed its knack for shooting itself in the foot.

The anticipated August 28 kickoff of the 2023/2024 NPFL league season has now been relegated to the back burner, all thanks to a curious case of lacklustre foresight.

With the initial date of August 26 ratified, it seemed to be a beacon of hope, only to be dashed against the rocks of reality. The NPFL Board unveiled its penchant for a plot twist that left even the most ardent followers scratching their heads. A mere two weeks before the deal day, the board announced a postponement, leaving everyone to ponder what the footballing equivalent of a self-inflicted goal would be.

And the rationale? Hold your breath, dear reader, for it is a head-scratcher. Some quarters say the league’s luminaries are giving teams playing continental football an opportunity to kickstart the season along with their domestic peers. One can not help but wonder if this was a magnanimous gesture or a desperate attempt to camouflage their organizational blunder.

As reigning champions Enyimba FC, Federation Cup winners Bendel Insurance, third-placed Rivers United and the South West’s Remo Stars prepare for their continental sojourns, the NPFL Board according to rumours has allegedly conjured an image of them as benevolent overlords, generously granting these teams a synchronized launch into the league. If only they had applied this same ‘consideration’ when charting out the initial calendar.

But that’s not all. Enter the NPFL’s technological marvel: NPFL Live powered by Propel Sports Africa. A promise of unprecedented match streaming to fans near and far, the first in Africa. Cameras according to Propel Sports have been placed in select stadiums, creating an illusion of readiness on social media. However, this techno-mirage seems more like a house of cards poised to crumble under the weight of unforeseen glitches.

To add a cherry on top, the draws for the new season are set to take place on Thursday, conducted by representatives of the very club owners who, in a cruel twist of irony, might have been hoping for a prompt kickoff. Perhaps they’ll use a crystal ball for these draws, as their foresight seems to be lacking in more practical matters.

As uncertainty reverberates through Nigerian football circles, one can’t help but marvel at the NPFL Board’s masterclass in erratic planning.

A symphony of missteps and head-scratching decisions paints a picture of a league body fumbling in the dark, leaving Nigerians to wonder if they are following a professional football league or a comedic drama of errors.

Jokanola Bolaji

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