Abdullahi says he met a poor league prior to restricting the NPFL.
The immediate past Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, said on Wednesday that the establishment of the League Management Company, LMC, was one of his greatest achievements.
Mr. Abdullahi, who said this in Abuja in an interview with journalists, said the National Youth Games, NYG, was also one of his success stories.
“The style of recruiting the managers of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, where club managers come together at Annual General Meeting to elect the league managers, necessitated the introduction of LMC,” he said.
He said the anomalies such as poor quality of play, rule of the games, lack of sponsorship and funding quickened the NPFL restructuring.
“It was clear that the process of recruiting the managers of the league was faulty. When you have club managers coming together in an annual convention to elect people who should manage the league, then you should know that things were wrong. There is nowhere in the world where this is still happening in the 21st century, especially when you are talking about market orientation. So, what we did was to first of all introduce this market orientation because the league is a great source of revenue and employer of labour,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
He said that the desire to have a formidable national team and the government’s desire to empower the youth also contributed to the birth of the LMC.
“It is not about bringing the LMC; it’s about improving the league. What I realised is that we cannot hope to have a good national team if we don’t have a good national league. Again, the Federal Government was committed to creating opportunities for young people to work and I realised that you cannot do that unless the system works well,” he said. “The league that I met when I assumed office was not the kind of league that could deliver on the expectations of Nigerians. Things were really bad in terms of quality of play, the rule of the games, sponsorship and funding; a whole lot of things were wrong.”
The LMC was inaugurated on December 27, 2012 to reposition the NPFL.