By Jacob Ajom
The National Association of Nigerian Footballers, NANF, has raised alarm over the negative effect of the “invasion “ of Nigeria by promoters of foreign football leagues and their merchandise, while relegating the local game to the background.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, President of NANF, Harrison Jalla said the effect of the invasion on the growth of the local game has been negative and unrewarding.
“In light of this, we have initiated various moves that would ensure the local game benefited from this invasion which, to say the least, has crippled the domestic game,”Jalla said.
He disclosed that “after due consultation with relevant authorities such as the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Nigeria Lottery Trust Fund over the killing of domestic football as a product, service and industry by cable satellite television and football betting companies using foreign leagues, particularly the English Premier League games, we have got in touch with our external solicitors Johnson & Steler Solicitors of Hanover Square, Mayfair London to initiate a process to recover $10billion as outstanding royalties from 2008 to 2018 for the adverse effect of the invasion of the EPL and football betting using the Premier League games.”
Jalla said, “betting companies and satellite television networks broadcasting matches of foreign leagues in Nigeria should pay royalties to football authorities in the country.
“We are not calling for outright ban on foreign content, but there should pay some royalty to positively affect our local game”.
He disclosed that NANF had been talking with the English FA and their response has been positive. “We wrote and informed them that their product(the EPL) was affecting the growth of our own game. They acknowledged receipt of our correspondence and promised to look into the case, but we don’t have the luxury of waiting for when they will come back to us.”