The Federal government on Tuesday insisted that the Nigeria football league would not resume until all clubs comply with the Buhari administration’s National Sports Industry Policy, particularly the provision that all clubs be fully licensed before being allowed to participate in the league.
Sunday Dare, the Minister of Youths and Sports made this clarification in a series of tweets on his verified handle on Monday. According to him, going forward, Nigerian football league would run like a proper business enterprise, and not as ‘play-play’ – hence the need for all stakeholders to key into the full implementation of licensing and financial controls.
“With the reclassification of Sports from Recreation to Business, President Buhari is committed to sports as a business. A first logical step. Other steps include running our football league as a business, not as ‘play-play’- hence the full implementation of licensing/ financial controls.
“These are the things we have been about since its inception in August 2019. We have a clear plan and vision. We are dogged in working to fulfil them leveraging on public and private financing. The MYSD is on top of its game.
“Next logical step is infrastructural renewal. From the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja to Surulere Stadium in Lagos, we are showing we mean business. A business model to attract investments to sports among other things will soon be delivered through National Sports Industry Policy”, he said.
Given the weak financial base of most Nigerian clubs, licensing has been a major issue, with a number of clubs failing to meet the requirements to adequately run clubs on a yearly basis, but given the go-ahead to participate in the leagues, none the less. This has resulted in several defaults in payment of salaries to players and staff.