The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is gradually gaining the acceptance it deserves first from the local audience and secondly, internationally.
Notwithstanding the numerous setbacks militating against its progress in recent times, the League Management Company (LMC) has made giant strides this term with visible improvements in the standard of the NPFL.
Defending champions, Enyimba, will be looking to consolidate on their continental success when they face Akwa United at the Nest of Champions on Sunday.
Apart from watching the two-time African champions play, here are five reasons you should dump the Europeans leagues for the Nigerian League this weekend.
- Two televised games
Just like many other European leagues, two Nigerian League games will be televised – meaning you can watch these games from the comfort of your home.
Second placed Enugu Rangers welcomes Nasarawa United on Friday, before the People’s Elephant touchdown the 30,000 capacity beautiful edifice home of the Promise Keepers.
- Friday night football
Maybe not famous in England, but many other European Leagues adopt the Friday night football system to kick-start the weekend for soccer loving fans.
Back to Nigeria, this season, the LMC has introduced the Friday night football – which is a positive departure from the era of playing all 10 league games simultaneously on Sundays.
It’s six-time champions, Rangers, against the Solid Miners on Friday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, kick-off time is 4pm.
- The dead ref blunder
One debacle that has attracted the eyes of the international football community to the Nigerian League is the recent blunder involving the appointment of a dead referee to officiate a league game.
Chris Giwa’s faction of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) made the unpardonable howler on Wednesday by picking a deceased man to referee a game between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC.
All eyes will be on the Warri Township Stadium as both teams clash on Sunday, 4pm.
- Prayer Warriors visit Abia Warriors
Another tantalising clash this weekend will be when two Warriors go into battle in the NPFL on Sunday.
Mountain of Fire Ministries FC (MFM FC) will be aiming to win the battle of the warriors when they visit Abia Warriors on Sunday.
With just one point separating both teams in third and fourth places, it makes for an entertaining clash at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
- Proposed partnership with La Liga
Just recently, the LMC announced an intended partnership deal with the Spanish La Liga League Board to aid exchange of knowledge, training, marketing, commerce and youth development.
The head of the Spanish delegation is expected in Nigeria on Monday after discussions began over a year ago between the two groups.
LMC chairman, Shehu Dikko, said: “As a developing league, we have continuously sought collaborations with some of the global model league management and La Liga is the first of such coming into fruition.”