The chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, exonerated the league body of any blame for early crash out of the teams from their various continental club competitions.
At least three Nigeria representatives in the Caf Champions League Warri Wolves and CAF Confederations Cup, Nasarawa United and Akwa United have crashed out from the respective continental football tournaments.
An exit Dikko blamed their early crash on the inadequate support various teams got from their state governments led by governors Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Emmauel Udom (Akwa Ibom) and Tanko Al Makura (Nasarawa).
Dikko conceded that the draws were not favourable to the clubs, but pointed out that they would have lasted longer if their various state governments had played their roles to the full.
As a result of this, Dikko promised that the league manager will strive to get some form of commitment from governors of states whose clubs have qualified for continental football showpieces, to ensure that they represent the nation as well as they should.
He assured Nigerians of the LMC’s determination to support the only surviving Nigerian club on the continent, Enyimba, to help them continue to make the country proud.
“At the LMC board, we have resolved to support Enyimba, because it is no more their affair; it is now Nigeria playing. All hands were on deck during the last match to make sure they won.
“Of course, we did the same thing for other clubs. Unfortunately, football can be unpredictable. Either the draw didn’t favour them or they started their preparation late or whatever. Part of the issue that doesn’t work well for clubs is the government. The governors don’t give clubs the kind of support they need to prepare well for competitions.”
To this end, Dikko promised that, from next season, when Nigerian clubs qualify for continental football competitions, the LMC will write the governors to advise them on the need to support the teams to enable them prepare well. The support I mean here entails buying the right players and doing the right things at the right time. The [teams] crash out, not because our league is bad, but because their governors fail to support them adequately.
“No, it is not that the clubs are inexperienced or bad; it could have been that they did not have the right players or some other thing, but the paramount factor was that they did not get enough support from their state governments,” Dikko said.