As a communication scholar, it is common knowledge that a writer introduces every acronym before using it in the text.
The first time a writer uses the term, he is expected to put the acronym in parentheses after the full term. Thereafter, you stick to using the acronym (Uphophu Biri:2005). Surprisingly, a recent release by the NFF has seen questions being asked by football stakeholders across the country.
In Nigeria, where football as a sport reigns supreme and the passion of the fans is an inferno that never wanes, confusion has taken residence in the hallowed grounds of the top-flight league. Like a befuddling enigma, the very name of the league itself appears to be shrouded in mystery, with no definitive answer to satiate the curiosity of ardent followers.
As the curtains closed on the previous season, a veil of uncertainty was cast upon the league’s nomenclature. The erstwhile Interim Management Committee, now consigned to the annals of history, ventured to baptize the league as the “Nigeria Premier Football League.” Alas, their seemingly well-intentioned endeavour to endow the league with an illustrious title soon collided with a roadblock of bureaucratic proportions.
In a media release that emerged on a fateful Wednesday afternoon, the authoritative Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) raised its clarion call, unequivocally asserting that no change of name could transpire without the resounding stamp of approval from the NFF Congress. It appears that the name-altering saga has transformed into a saga of administrative protocols, leaving fans, pundits, and players alike scratching their heads in bewilderment.
And so, the league’s identity crisis deepens, with three distinct names jostling for prominence in the collective consciousness: the “Nigeria Professional Football League,” the “Nigeria Premier Football League,” and the “Nigeria Premier League.” Each appellation beckons, like sirens of old, enticing followers with its allure and charm.
For the faithful supporters of teams who go to the stadiums week after week, this conundrum remains an inscrutable puzzle. To which league do they truly belong? Which name should be emblazoned on their banners and jerseys, an emblem of loyalty? The answer eludes them, a riddle wrapped in an enigma, obscured by layers of footballing bureaucracy.
For a nation where football to some is not merely a game but a way of life, the stakes are high, and clarity is of paramount importance. The NFF Congress, entrusted with this weighty decision, carries the weight of the nation’s footballing aspirations on its shoulders. Their verdict will either dispel the confusion or add another intriguing chapter to this perplexing tale.
As the print presses roll and headlines are etched onto the pages of history, the true name of Nigeria’s top-flight league remains a question mark. Will it be the “Nigeria Professional Football League,” the “Nigeria Premier Football League,” or the “Nigeria Premier League”?
Only time will unveil the answer, while fans hold their collective breath, yearning for a resolution to this baffling linguistic labyrinth.