Shehu Dikko, NPFL, COVID-19

Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Shehu Dikko is confident that football in Nigeria will change for the better after the coronavirus pandemic has been completely contained.

Dikko was responded to questions online from journalists on a football Whatsapp group and said he is not sure when the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will return to action.

He said the LMC is not working in isolation on the COVID-19, noting that “it’s a global matter and we are being guided on what FIFA, CAF will direct and also how our domestic situation develops.

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“We are hopeful Nigeria will conquer this pandemic soonest and we get our lives back to normal and get the green light to resume football. Then we will appraise where we are and decides what to do”. he concluded.

He said already the LMC is working on many options and possibilities both in dealing with the impact now and also the post-COVID-19 decisions.

“Well, honestly the pandemic is affecting the league just as it’s affecting everything across the globe. Sports industry generally is one of the worst hit in this as many things are time-bound and even the finances are structured as such.

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“We can see how global football leagues that we all thought are beyond shock have all been distorted especially financially, organizationally and legally among others”.

“We too are on the same boat, though, not to their level. For example, the second tranche of investment from Next TV was due the week the league was suspended as the investors and all had to delay, now including preparation for commencement of test-runs of the broadcast.

“We have overdue payables from others, which we can’t get now until all is sorted. We have seen how sponsors and broadcast partners are withholding payments due across the world and we can’t be an exception,” he said.



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