By Tony Ezimakor
SNR Correspondent Abuja
Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, has asked the Nigeria Football Federation to redouble its effort so as to leverage on the Super Eagles success at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
He said the success was one that has opened doors for marketing drive, adding that the federation must work hard to take full advantage of these opportunities instead of waiting on government.
Abdullahi, while fielding questions on how best to assist the cash strapped Nigeria Premier League takeoff this weekend without hitches said, “Anyone coming into the sector must realise that funding is always a challenge.
“The bigger challenge is what we are hoping that the NFF has to work harder to generate alternative source of funding. The Africa Cup of Nations victory is one that has provided great opportunities for marketing values. It is my hope that they take advantage to get sponsors for the national team and improve the resources available to our football.
He also expressed the hope that following the Nations Cup victory the federation would also smile to the bank, courtesy of CAF’s largess for winning the trophy.
On the NPL, he said that, what the administration has done was to find how the league could be supported to take off via a soft loan.
He maintained that Saturday kickoff date is possible even though some of the knotty issues that led to its delay were yet to be addressed.
“It is true we have not yet resolved the issues and you know how this thing works; you see yourself going back and forth, but we have made progress. Should we wait until all issues are resolved? That was what we thought at first but you also see that clubs are complaining that they are paying players and officials for doing nothing,” he said, adding that the league has to go on while effort is made to settle other outstanding issues.