Sunday Dare, The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, described the Nigerian Football League as “on its deathbed.”
He made the statement on Thursday while disclosing that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has received funding of N15 billion.
The Youth and Sports development minister also spoke at the 51st session of the State House Ministerial Briefing. The Presidential Communications Team organised the event at the Aso Rock Villa.
At the event, Dare also stated that the shutdown of the Abuja head office of the League Management Company on Thursday was the government’s last resort to salvage the country’s football.
Earlier, The operatives of the Nigeria Police Force stormed the office of the League Management Company in the capital city of Abuja to seal it up.
Earlier, The Federal Government dissolved the LMC as the recognised operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League last Friday.
Ismaila Abubakar, The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, announced that the government does not recognise the LMC as the sole agency to organise and regulate the Nigeria Professional Football League.
He premised the decision on the alleged maladministration of the tournament.
But navigating the questions on the issue, the Sports Minister stated that the dissolution of the LMC was delayed for four months to allow for a workable solution.
The Youth and Sports Development Minister said, “As of May 25, 2022. President approved the dissolution of the LMC and directed that the NFF should set up an Interim Management Company because of clear evidence that our league was in dire straits.
Dare stated that the Ministry did not issue a directive between May and August because they wanted the Premier League to complete its season without disruption. Although, he added that during that period, the Ministry made efforts to speak with those in charge. We never got any response.
He stated that our league is on its deathbed as we sit here and that it is a situation of great saness for the country. The Minister thanked the President for being “supportive” to the sector, prompting Nigeria’s recent exploits in the athletics world stage while he was at the State House with some of the country’s ace athletes, including the world record holder, Tobi Amusan and gold medalist Ese Brume,