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LEAGUE DEVELOPMENT: We have not started at all , Onigbinde

Former league top scorer Davidson Owumi and former Enugu Rangers boss emerged as the new chairman of the Nigeria Premier League, replacing Oyuiki Obaseki, last week.

The battle for the position was tough but after so much politicking which saw an aggrieved candidate head to court, the election were later held last week  and the former Rangers boss, emerged as the new man at the helm of NPL affairs.

Owumi, a key member of Obaseki’s kitchen cabinet, was voted in on a landslide vote of 13-4 ahead of Bayelsa United chairman, Victor Rumson Baribote.

Elections were also held earlier in the day for positions into the board, with former Vice Chairman Shehu Gusau retaining his position on the board.

But former Super Eagles manager to Korea/Japan 2002 Festus Adegboye Onigbinde says  the challenges before the new chairman is enormous, one that requires a serious minded approach from both the NFA and NPL for football to move forward in the country.  He described the face off between both parties in the past as shameful and called on them to work together, so as to develop football in the country.

Onigbinde was of the view that Nigeria has really not started to develop football and foresees a situation where Owumi will, like his predecessor,  contribute very little to the development of the game.

The Modakeke Chief frowned at the situation where  both bodies (NFA and NPL) will be having problems to the detriment of the game. The CAF instructor revealed that the way the league was run by the past board left little to be desired and appealed to Owumi and the NFA to ensure that they developed football in the country.

“Owumi will be facing a big challenge as the new boss. Football in Nigeria is grossly undeveloped and it is the duty of Owumi and the NFA to develop the game.

For the NFA, they are supposed to build the foundation with which the NPL can showcase their products. But the way it is now, there is nothing to showcase. The challenges are so much because we have not started at all. What we are doing now is just organising competitions and at the end of the day, people smile home with money in their pockets. That is not how to develop football”, he said.


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