- FIFA’S Head of Pro Football recommend model to countries within and outside Africa
- NPFL’s Youth Development incentive excites CAF
From Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union to Cairo in Egypt, the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has flowed commendations for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) model managed by the League Management Company (LMC).
At a Regional FIFA/CAF Club Licensing Seminar in Addis Ababa from May 18-20, a presentation of the NPFL governance structure by the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar elicited praises and expressions of pleasant surprise at the advancement made in administration by a league in Africa.
Abubakar, whose presentation dwelt on the LMC governance structure that provides for independent board members and club representatives, was engaged in separate sessions with representatives of Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Somalia amongst others who sought to deepen their understanding of the NPFL structures, relationship with the Nigeria Football Federation and operations of the Club Licensing.
On the heels of the conclusion of the workshop in Addis Ababa, Enugu-based Nigerian Broadcast Journalist, Jane Nweze of Solid FM who monitored the event and spoke with FIFA Officials like James Johnson, the Head of Professional Football said the FIFA Official endorsed the NPFL governance structure and recommended it to leagues within and outside Africa.
Nweze quoted Johnson to have said in some of his responses to her questions that “The governance model is very interesting and leagues within Africa and outside can learn from it”.
He continued “The overall structure. Relationship between NFF and the league is clear. Who owns right, who does club licensing, discipline etc
“Then the league is well structured internally with balance of independent board members and members of the clubs who the league represents
“Then the relationship between the leagues vis-a-vis the clubs and players is also clear and structured to suit modern day football”.
Johnson also sent a formal letter of appreciation on behalf of FIFA to Abubakar in which he made special mention of the contributions he made at the workshop through his presentation and answers to questions from participants.
Part of the letter dated May 27, 2016 read, “On behalf of FIFA, FIFA’S Professional Football Department and all the Football stakeholders who attended the recent Club Licensing Seminar in Addis Ababa, we would Iike t0 express our sincere appreciation for your inspiring contribution during the seminar. Your comments and feedback will greatly assist in the continued growth of Football throughout the confederation of CAF”.
At another CAF workshop on Club Licensing for the 16 teams in the African Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, contributions of Nigeria’s representative, Enyimba’s Jude Anyadufu also drew huge interests especially his revelation of the LMC provision in the Rules and Framework for Youth Development.
According to Anyadufu, who is the General Coordinator of Enyimba International FC, “In one of our sessions, I made the point that in the NPFL, there is already a framework to encourage Clubs embrace youth development through monetary incentives given by the LMC to clubs that include youth players of between 16-18 years in their squad”.
The CAF Club Licensing Officer, Ahmed Harraz was said to have requested Anyadufu to expatiate on the scheme and was thereafter engaged in sessions with representatives of the other clubs. “The representative of Zanaco FC of Zambia said he was returning to Lusaka to recommend the scheme to their league and also explore how the club can domesticate and operate it to breed youth players”.
Harraz also indicated he would be sending a memo to the CAF Executive Committee to adopt the incentive for clubs fielding youth players in their squad for the two CAF Club competitions.
The NPFL Governance structure is a product of wide research and deep engagement to solve the problem of instability in league administration which had continuously bred crisis of leadership tussle, lack of integrity of results and absence of transparency. The fusion of independent board administrators working with club representatives has in the last three years stabilized the administration leading to acclaim from international bodies and renewed interest by corporate organizations to enter into partnership with the LMC