Although some Super Eagles fans have often criticised coach Gernot Rohr for not adding more homebased players to his squads, the German has now come out to defend himself.
Immediately homebased players are invited to the national team, they use that exposure to go to foreign (often obscure) leagues which may be good for them but this fact defeats the purpose of inviting them in the first place, Rohr noted recently.
He also flaunted his record of having invited up to 24 homebased players during his just under 3 years reign as Super Eagles coach.
The German also remarked that the best Nigerian players are now based abroad, a fact which is undeniable.
Making the league attractive
Having said that, the factors below (as culled from an Internet chatroom) can help make the Nigeria Professional Football League more desirable to all stakeholders:
1)Officiating must be brave enough to make the league sensible and competitive not the practice of home must win.
2)The league clubs must go for young players not old papas we see in the league…..imagine the best talents that have left Nigeria for Europe in the last decade never played in the league before going abroad e.g Chukweze, Osimhen, Kalu, Nwakali brothers, Orji, Kingsley Michael, Simon and many more….imagine such talents roaming the streets while papas play the league….in Brazil its not like that all players coming to Europe from Brazil always go through their league clubs for example Neymay, Jesus, Rodygo, Vinicus, Arthur etc.
3)Security should be good for fans, players, officials and managers because at time the referees only favour the home teams in order to leave the stadium alive.
4)The league should be taken over by private companies and multinationals should be made to be involved in order to raise the financial muscle of the league.
5)The stadiums should be upgraded to world class in order to develope the players and give them avenue to show case their talent.
6)More fans should be incentivised to go back to the stadiums in order to create an atmosphere that can raise the confidence of the players….if you put our league players on the same international stadiums with messi and Rinaldo, it will bring out the best in them.
7)This problems have existed for decades and putting it all on Rhors head because he is the national team coach is ill-conceived.
8) The NPFL should place emphasis on developing younger players. Perhaps there should be an "NPFL 2" where genuine Under-23 players of the clubs compete like in Europe
Added to all that, league matches should be televised.
When our league matches were televised, a whole CNN took notice leading to Sikiru Olatubosun winning the goal of the week in March 2017. Olatunbosun defeated Radja Nainggolan of Roma, Youri Tielemans of Anderlecht and Joey Jones of Woking FC to clinch the honour. The Nigerian was the overwhelming winner with 82% of the total votes. So, yes the Nigeria Professional Football League is decent but it cannot be taken seriously under the circumstances. A radical overhaul is required before the league and it’s players can considered worthwhile. Endorsing these points will surely be steps in the right direction.