The Head of Operations of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) Prince Davidson Owumi has come out to give reasons why the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) continued despite the FIFA International break which was observed by most countries in the month of October, 2023.
Owumi who is passionate and has a knack for quality development of the Nigerian apex football league which he inherited told Sports Intelligence Magazine exclusively when contacted that the late start of the league was a major reason for not observing the International Break.
“My dear, we started one month behind schedule, we cannot afford to observe the break” he started. “More so, the technical adviser of the Super Eagles has not deem it fit to include domestic players in his plan so we need to move on”.
Owumi further added that the friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique, played by Nigeria during the October FIFA International break were not held in Nigeria, as that could also be another reason. He however hinted that the ongoing NPFL games during the International break is not likely to affect the players.
When probed further by our correspondent on how the ongoing matches could affect players in the NPFL chances of playing in the Super Eagles, Owumi stated that countries which stopped their Leagues did so because the national teams are fully made up players in those leagues.
However, Owumi regretted that despite Nigeria winning the three AFCONS in 1980, 1994 and 2013 with a Super Eagles squad that had a blend of domestic and foreign-based players, its so unfortunate that we have abandoned players from the domestic league.
“So is it our (NPFL) fault that after winning three AFCONS in 1980, 1994 and 2013, we have turned our national team into “Oyibo United? He asked rhetorically.
As Nigeria prepares to take part in the forthcoming AFCON which takes place in January 2024, at Cote D’Ivoire, it is reminiscent to note that the winning goal which gave Nigeria victory against Burkina Faso in the final of the AFCON where Nigeria won her third AFCON was scored by Sunday Mba who was on loan from Warri Wolves to Rangers International of Enugu in the NPFL.