30 Years After: NPFL Is Moving Up And Down – Obuh
By Amaechi Agbo
On the 12th of May, 2020, the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL marked its three decades of establishment with many players, coaches, administrators adding their voices on the journey so far.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, former Katsina, Rangers, Enymba coach, John Sam Obuh has stated that the 30 years of the NPFL are full of ups and down.
Coach Obuh who handled both the U-17 and U-20 national teams with success stories, said that given what the league is right now, it had more glorious past than it is currently.
“I would not want to say that we have fared well neither would I say that we have succeeded but I think we have a lot of ups and downs. One time it would look as if we are succeeding, the other time it will look as if we are going backward again.
“We started with Nigeria Professional League, NPL. It was then that we had different people who were managing football and we had different governments who were also sponsoring football. In that particular time, it was also the time Enyimba was able to get the Champions League twice and you can never remove the factor of His Excellency then governor of Abia state, Orji Uzo Kalu who stood by them financially and otherwise to make sure that the feat was possible.
“In fact during that same time, we had Oyiuke Obaseki, Devison Owumi, Rumson Baribote, all those ones in one way of the other, contributed to the success of Nigeria League until when LMC came in. You know for sometime there has been a problem such that once it affects the federation, it affects every other arm. And more so there have been changes in the board. One of the things that is reducing the effect of the progress we should have had more than now is tribal sentiments.
“In sports, it is not supposed to be so because football in particular requires the best at every point in time. Not where you come from, not the religion you follow; these are the little things that are making it look as if we are not moving forward. But I think we are trying,” the former Akwa United Technical Adviser said.