Say the quality of matches had improved tremendously to attract sponsors

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has urged all litigants in the league title sponsorship dispute to call a truce for the overall interest of the game.

Speaking on behalf of the league body, NPL Acting Executive Secretary, Tunji Babalola, on Monday, said that such a step would be beneficial to clubs that needed the sponsorship money to thrive.

Babalola stressed that the time had come for all litigants to resolve all the issues.

“We are praying earnestly that the issues are resolved without any further upheaval because we need money to run the league,” he said. “There is an adage that says ` when two elephants fight, the grass suffer.’ It is the league that is affected adversely, which is not good for the image of the league.

“If this is not resolved, if it prolongs further than it is, it will be an uphill task to run the NPL administratively, paying match officials is tough as it is. Once all litigations are dropped, next season will be better and get a titled sponsor for the league, every other thing will fall into place.’’ 

The secretary said that in spite of the limitations of NPL, the quality of matches  had improved tremendously to attract sponsors.

“Our quality of play has improved appreciably, which is commendable. I watched the match between Enyimba FC and Rangers International on DSTV and I was impressed,” he said. “Our league needs to be repackaged in order to attract more sponsors. Our image is key, we need to be more commercial friendly so as to generate more avenues for its funding.”

He said NPL could not be compared with the South African league, adding that the  latter was more attractive in spite of the fact that NPL matches were more professional.

“There is no basis for comparison, you can’t compare the two,” he said. “They are poles apart and they are ahead of us in terms of commercials and packaging but our style of play is more professional. Our quality and standard of play cannot be compared with theirs, but without commercials and packaging football will be redundant.’’

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