By Philips Adefioye
The Nigeria Premier League Board, NPL, has come out to tell Nigerians that there is vacancy for the position of Chairman next year whenÂ their elections hold even though he desires a secondv term to consolidate on his achievements.
Chairman of the Board, Chief Oyuki Obaseki who made this known in an interview with Saturday Vanguard sports in Lagos said that the next NPL election would take place in March next year adding that the post is vacant to any interested Nigerian who feels he or she has what it takes to run the board to greater height.
He however added that he would like to continue as chairman for a second term in order to complete the remaining projects on ground.
â€œI like to inform you that I would be leaving this post by next year and anybody who has interest in any position can come and contest. It is an open thing if you meet up with the requirements.
â€œWe have done our best to raise the standard of the Premier League up to the present level. Our board has achieved a lot of things that the previous board never achieved. Iâ€™m saying this with confidence because I know the millions of Naira I have sunk into the development of our Premier League. Iâ€™m talking of my own personal money before the arrival of the sponsor,â€he said.
The Benin High Chief accused football club chairmen of encouraging hooliganism in the League which is at the detriment of development of the countryâ€™s league, pointing out that home advantage and the win-at-all-cost syndrome is one of the issues that the NPL Board will fight till the end.
The one time Insurance of Benin chairman lamented the attitude of club chairmen who corrupt referees and match commissioners because they want to win matches, stressing however that before the arrival of the present board, referees wereÂ paid a meagre N5,000 per match which opened doors for corruption in the league.
According to Chief Obaseki,â€Since our board took control of the Premier League, the referees and match commissioners have received far better than when we met it. The center referees are now paid N40,000, the assistants get N35,000 while the fourth officials get N20,000 which has never been done in the history of the countryâ€™s League.
There is still hotel accommodation, transport and as well as medical allowance. I paid them N6,000 each for their feeding allowance. We are doing this so that they will not be bought over by club officials.If any of the referees or match commissioners are seen with any club official, he or she will face the music or will be dismissed.
â€œRome was not built in a day, we can never be compared with the English league or the La Liga because the Glo Premier League is just four years old. For Godâ€™s sake how do you want us to meet up with the English Premiership that has been on for many years.
You people need to appreciate what we are doing,a four year -old league now among the best 23 in the world and the best in Africa, isnâ€™t that enough to encourage us.â€