President of the Association of International Sports Press (AIPS)-Africa, Mitchell Obi has advised Nigerian clubs to fully adopt the provisions of the FIFA Club Licensing Document to enable them operate professionally and compete favourably at CAF inter-club competitions.
Last week, three Nigerian sides-Plateau United, MFM FC and Akwa United-were eliminated from the CAF Confederation Cup, leaving Enyimba as the country’s only-surviving club on the continent this year.
Coincidentally, Enyimba are also the last Nigerian club to record continental success, after winning the CAF Champions League back-to-back in 2003 and 2004.
Asked what could be done to improve the fortunes of Nigerian sides on the continent, the veteran Sports Journalist told www.busybuddiesng.com: “There is a programme which has been designed even by FIFA for clubs that want to be professional.
“If you want to play the game and make a success of the game, there is a FIFA Club Licensing system. That document is available anywhere.
“And if we can even follow the basics; if you want to set up a professional club, and you do the basics, I’m telling you, trust me, you’ll come close to understanding what it takes to get going.”
The ace broadcaster, however, expressed concern over the failure of the three clubs to advance to the lucrative group stage of the Confederation Cup this year, adding that they have lost an opportunity to make some money for themselves.
“When you are going into the continent, you have to be prepared, you have to be ready. You have to show that you are not just going there because you want to play international football.
“You want to be where it matters. And where it matters is that at the end of the day, you can tell your fans ‘look, we have not won this competition, but we have brought you value’. At least, there will be something to show for it.
“For these clubs (Plateau United,Akwa United and MFM FC), for all the monies they’ve wasted, for all the efforts they made in really winning, there is really nothing to show.
“If they have gotten to the group stages, at least at the end of the day, they can be counting the little blessing. But now, there’s really nothing to show for all the expenses they made.
“And these days, football is not play, play, you have to be counting the coins,” he said.