Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma has berated the League Management Company (LMC) for its organization of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, citing lack of television coverage, fixture congestion, poor health care for players as some of the issues that bedevilled the current campaign.
However, the experienced tactician also commended the organisers for improved officiating in the current season, which has been suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Generally, other areas of organisation was zero,” he said. “Like no TV, which was the worst of it all.
“And if you see what poor medical management has caused (the death of Chineme Martins) and then, very poor facilities were provided.
“Also, this issue of travelling long distances, and matches are being played in between two games in a week – three games in a week. Considering the journeys that we make, every week, you can travel long distances twice, especially if you have to travel for two away games within a week. It is not helping the teams. It doesn’t help the players to play at their best and it doesn’t enable teams to get good results. The wears and tears from the journeys in the league affect the teams’ performances. It is not good for us.
“The LMC should do something. The worst of it all is not putting the league on TV.”
Despite sealing a mouth-watering Television deal in November with a ‘projected revenue’ of $225m with Chinese outfit NEXT TV for five years, no league game was televised on any platform before the season was suspended last month after 25 Match Days.
His complaints notwithstanding, Eguma also praised the organisers for improved officiating in the league this season.
“In the past, we have had better league than the present. The only thing that changed was just the officiating,” he remarked. “Officiating improved so much this season. Outside officiating, every other thing went bad.
“I give kudos to the league organisers (LMC), especially, the Nigeria Referees Association for bringing out credible referees, and the officiating was near perfect. Teams were going to different venues and getting good results. There was no too much complaints of referees robbing teams and all those kind of things.”