Nigeria: NPFL Club Chairmen 'Missing' As COVID-19 Stifles Allocations

Most of the club chairmen in the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, are said to have vanished into thin air following paucity of funds caused by the non-release of monthly allocations from their respective state governments.

Following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, the federal and state governments are focused on efforts to contain the killer virus.

Consequently, state governments have not been able to maintain regular release of funds to the clubs due to the battle with the coronavirus.

Unfortunately, since 18 of the 20 clubs in the NPFL depend solely on government for funding, some have not been able to pay salaries and allowances since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

While a club like Kano Pillars where players and officials are enrolled as civil servants has no cause to complain, their counterparts like Enyimba FC, Nasarawa United, Katsina United, Lobi Stars, Sunshine Stars and a host of others who depend on monthly allocations to pay salaries are in dire straits.

Daily Trust can report authoritatively that in as much as allocations to the clubs are not uniform, there are some that collect over N50million a month for prosecuting matches and payment of salaries as well as allowances

As the allocations have become erratic in coming, it is said most of the chairmen who hitherto lived flamboyant lives have embarked on 'hide and seek' game.

It was gathered by our reporter that while some club chairmen still try to keep things moving, others have abandoned their ship completely.

An official who craved anonymity said his club chairman went 'missing' the very day the league was suspended.

He said "We hardly hear from our chairman. His phones are permanently switched off. After all he is used to coming around only on match days. So his action is not completely new to some of us," he said.

A media officer also said his club chairman has gone AWOL. "We neither see nor hear from him. You know the league is on break and there is no money.

"Maybe he wants to stay away from the pressure from players concerning their salaries," he said.

However, Chigozie Nwosu, the Media Officer of Abia Warriors in a chat with Daily Trust painted a different picture as he said his chairman Pastor Emeka Inyama is very much on ground.

"I will give you exactly how it is in the club as it won't benefit me in any way to make up stories to suite my relationship with the club.

"Our chairman is a wonderful man who is committed to the success of the club. He is always around to ensure that everything is in order. As a seasoned sports journalist, he makes my job so easy," he said.

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