On the continental stage, Nigeria are recognized as a powerhouse nation that can boast of some of the best talent in the world. The major reason why this is the truth is the success of the Nigerian football team, better known as the Super Eagles.
The Super Eagles has some of the best African players who play abroad but their reputation as a powerhouse on the continent at club level is severely lacking. When it comes to the highest level of African football, which is the CAF Champions League, teams that represent the Nigeria Professional Football League rarely leave a mark on the competition.
The last Nigerian team to win the CAF Champions League was Enyimba football club of Aba, who won it two times in a row in the 2002/2003 and 203/2004 seasons. A decade on and the country is still struggling to reach those heights.
The current state of the Nigerian Professional Football League is one that falls well below the required standard. This means that the League will not be able to produce players that are good enough to make the European dominated Super Eagles squad.
For the Nigerian Football Federation to truly improve Nigerian football, they must improve the quality of the League as well as everything that surrounds it.
One of the biggest complaints that fans of Nigerian football have is the poor pitches. There are very few state of the art stadiums in the country and it hurts the League in every sense.
Because of the poor state of the badly maintained turfs, it becomes very difficult to play quality football. The terrain is uneven, which makes it hard for basic actions like passing, ball control, dribbling, and shooting to take place. Apart from the effect that has on the League, it also affects the quality of football the Nigeria Super Eagles can play when they have home games.
Although the country produces great players already, the quality of the academies are barely up to scratch. When the infrastructure of the academies and the situation around youth development in grassroots football develops, Nigerian football will make progress.
Better training facilities and better structure of tournaments will help develop quality young players that can play in the NPFL as well as go abroad to Europe. Nigeria has the potential to be the greatest exporter of young talent in the Continent.
State of the Art Coverage
The presentation of a League is just as important as the structure. With creative coverage as well as high level technology is developed, the League becomes appealing for viewers.
Naturally, football fans in the country support teams across Europe, but most of them neglect the Nigerian sides because the quality and presentation are substandard.
The purchase of multiple High Definition cameras that can cover different angles will help improve the viewer’s experience to a quality comparable to the biggest Leagues in the continent.
If the NFF can allocate budgets in order to improve the League, the academies and the coverage of Nigerian football as a whole, there will be a significant increase in the interest of Nigerian football as well as the quality of its players.
This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago