The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, says poor leadership is to blame for the abrupt end of the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The minister told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that some people holding leadership positions in football circles believe they are irreplaceable.
“Nigeria Football Federation has been greeted with crisis, but that should not affect the league management.
“The league management is an institution, if there is a leadership crisis, there are operational men who should keep the system running.
“The problem has always been that the leadership carries everything along, so if there is a problem at the leadership stage, everything becomes grounded.
“There is nobody that is indispensable, if Solomon Dalung collapses and dies today, another excellent sports minister will emerge and may even perform better than from where I stopped.
“No one should think he is indispensable, ” Dalung said.
NAN recalls that an emergency joint consultative meeting of the League Management Company (LMC) and the 20 NPFL Club Owners recently declared the league concluded after matchday 24.
It pronounced Lobi Stars of Makurdi with the highest points the league’s champion.
The meeting was called against the backdrop of the adverse circumstances in the administration of football in the country.
This resulted in the indefinite suspension of the resumption of the NPFL, leading to huge fixture congestion for both league and cup competitions.
The second of the six-point resolution of the meeting was that none of the 20 NPFL Clubs would be relegated to the lower league.
The meeting also agreed that four clubs would be promoted from the Nigeria National League(NNL) to bring the number of the NPFL Clubs for the 2018/19 season to 24.
It was also resolved that the 2018/2019 NPFL season would commence in November with a total of 24 participating teams to be divided into two groups of 12 teams each.
The 2018/2019 Season commencing November will be played on 22 match days ending with a playoff to determine the winner by May 2019.
Also agreed was that three teams from each group (a total of six) would be relegated from the NPFL after the conclusion of the 2018/2019 season, while two teams will be promoted to the NPFL from the NNL 2019 Season.
This will allow the NPFL to revert to the normal structure of 20 teams as from the 2019/2020 season.