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2023 NPFL Well Organised, But Abridged League Remains Abnormal  –Chris Green

2023 NPFL Well Organised, But Abridged League Remains Abnormal  –Chris Green

The curtain has been drawn halfway on the 2023 Nigeria Professional Football League, (NPFL) season, waiting for the Super Six tournament that will hold at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos from June 3 to 11 2023, to determine the Champions.

In this interview with Completesports.com, two-time Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Barrister Chris Green, X-rays the concluded abridged league campaign that produced teams for the Super Six contest. The former member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Board commends the organisers and points to areas that need improvement.

Interview By Chigozie Chukwuleta

Excerpts…

Completesports.com:  The bridged league contest of the 2023 NPFL season has just ended, how would you describe it?

Green: It wasn’t a bad league after all, I’ll say that the managers of the league have tried to raise the bar. They have tried. It is better than it was before. I can see a lot of improvement in the league and if it continues this way, honestly speaking, we’ll be back to where we were before. But right now it is going well and we thank God. For whatever it’s worth, the organisers have done well.

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Considering the peculiarities of the NPFL Abridged system, given another chance, will you recommend it?

No, no, no. It is quite an abnormal league, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world. It’s quite abnormal. You cannot have an abridged league, there is nothing like an abridged league system except you want to divide the country into provinces and the rest of them and we’re not doing that, it’s not a proper league.

rivers-united-npfl-super-six-nigeria-professional-football-league-barrister-chris-green

Pride of Rivers – Rivers United, set for 2023 NPFL Super Six playoff

You were there from the beginning, I want you to look at those areas you think need improvement for a better league, you’ve said that they did well, but there must be areas that you want them to do better for next season…

Basically, funding is a big problem. League is business and the more money you have in the League the lesser for everyone, the clubs and everyone because what has happened now is that we have about 99 per cent of the clubs being run by various State governments and this does not augur well for us because when you have government running the league you find out that prospective sponsors will shy away, will think it’s coming from government and as such they will not be putting their money into it.

Elsewhere, it’s a sponsorship that gives you that leverage to play in the league but here because they find government they would not want to touch any league. If they want to touch it, will be these betting companies that will do betting and all that and it’s not good for our league.

Again betting too has an adverse effect on our league because where nearly everyone is betting, it doesn’t help the league and we don’t have mechanisms to find out those that are betting. Even in Europe, they catch people that bet but do you have that kind of mechanism here?

Betting, they say, is the reward for passion, do you think that these days people support the clubs they have put their money on instead of clubs that do the playing itself? How has betting affected the passion for the game?

Listen, we are not doing it the right way. There are ugly situations and ugly scenes. Was it not one of these teams that said that they are investigating their team players and officials for betting and even match-fixing? So what do you think when players are alleged to be betting, officials are betting that means everyone will be betting?

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In the continent this season your team, Rivers United, got to the quarterfinals of the CAF Cup. You are also in the Super Six. With what you’ve done this season how are you looking at improving for next season, hopefully playing in the continent?

Well we take it one at a time. We qualified for the Super Six, but nothing is won yet. We don’t have any ticket to play in any of the four [continental] slots as it were which by the grace of God, Rivers United were able to help get back for us because at the point that we were playing it if we had gone out in the group stage or when others went out I don’t think we’d have gotten the four slots. We would have gotten two which would have been a very sad story to tell and so we did everything humanly possible, we fought hard to make sure we got to the quarterfinals which has given us the four slots baton again and so we take it one after the other.

What is your plan for the 2023 NPFL Super Six?

Well, we’ll go there and play football that’s the truth. It’s a competition, we’ll go there to compete. We are not going to lie down for people to run over us. We are going to compete. You can see the team you can tell that we have a good team.

 

 


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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • Helius 1 year ago

    Sharap dia you were one of d worst administrators in d Nff.

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