While growing up, this writer had some uncles visit the family house, while leaving, this writer was promised a lot by ‘these uncles’ which until today is yet to be fulfilled. Dejected by these failed promises, this writer realised those promises were “Scopi lala”.
Today, a big topic of concern rages on, a battle between Tradition and Scopi lala, or ‘Ogbon Sodiki’ as it is known today. For weeks, there have been debates on the readiness of the league organisers for the new Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season. But this writer is faced with his childhood trauma of a potential Scopi lala or a newly introduced tradition.
Last season saw something new happen for the first time when Akwa United hosted Bendel Insurance for the opening day fixture, with other fixtures postponed until the next weekend. Now, the league organisers are telling us it will become a tradition.
“The other nine fixtures were played the following weekend, and it is one of the traditions we are bringing into the new league era,” said Elegbeleye, now the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), following the football statutes.
This means that this season MatchDay 1 will only see the opening fixture played this first weekend as Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) hosts former champions, Plateau United, at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Saturday, September 9.
Some may argue that the Super Eagles have a match scheduled for Sunday, September 10, in Uyo, which has factored into the decision to postpone some NPFL fixtures.
As the opening day approaches, the big question on everyone’s lips is whether this is a carefully thought out ‘tradition’ that will endure the test of time or if it is another ‘Scopi lala’.
Let fans not forget that they once told us the league could not start in August because of the teams on the continent. The last time this writer checked, Rivers United and Bendel Insurance still have games to play in the CAF Confederations Cup.
Will the league organisers extend their benevolence to the teams playing in the Second preliminary round of the Confederations Cup? We should also not forget that Enyimba will be playing in the Africa Super League.
This writer hopes the same ‘goodwill’ is shown to these three clubs and maybe by December, we may begin discussing a possible abridged league.