Chairman of the Nigeria National League (NNL), Chidi Ofor Okenwa, has explained that the introduction of digital transfer system in the NNL would revolutionalise the league and enhance easy transfer dealings involving players and clubs.
The chairman statedthis during the recently held NNL Domestic Transfer Matching System, DTMS workshop in Abuja.
Mr.Okenwa who expressed the readiness of the NNL to implement the DTMS, asserted that players’ welfare remained paramount in the NNL management’s priority.
He further provided explanation on why the management of the NNL came up with abridged league version for the 2017/18 season.
“We appreciate the fact that the NFF today is in autopilot. We have a football system that is going digital and we have no option than to key in and see that our records are straight. NFF today is an institution of records and we cannot toil with the records of our players including their passports and career history.
“People before now have a whole lot of records that you cannot hold together. But today with the DTMS, every player in the Nigeria National League (NNL), henceforth, will have a record that will be keyed into the data base and this data base will not be limited to the NFF; of course, it will get to the FIFA Connect. By so doing, nobody will be haggling over the ownership of a player; nobody will be haggling over the career history of a player in terms of training compensation and solidarity contributions.
“The truth remains that the programme actually is the programme of the NFF and it is already applicable in theNPF. The only thing we need to do is to gather the data and punch in the button and syncronise it. DTMS will revolutionalse transfer dealings in the Nigeria League.
“If you look at the hymn book, it is written, very clear; ‘new every morning is the love of God’. New every morning is the direction of NNL. The NNL is tapping from the new policy direction of the NFF which is all about compliance with all the tenets and rules guiding leagues all over the world.
“This is a World Cup year so we put it into consideration and that is why we came up with abridged league with 9 clubs in each conference centres making a total of 36 teams in the league. It is no longer business as usual. The Super 4 we play at the end of the season that used to be a ceremony is no longer a ceremony.
“We are going to have Super 8 this year which is a new innovation. What we are doing is that two teams will qualify from each group and then play against each other to determine the best four that will gain promotion to the NPFL. This will make the NNL strong because if you look at the NPFL table today, it will tell you the nature of the clubs that gained promotion last year. That is what we want to avoid subsequently.
“Rules are there to take care of players which are of international best practice. The issue of players has to do with player status committee of the NFF and they take due process in reporting matters such as we saw in Shooting Stars which was not allowed to use new players to play their match because they are owing old players. I want to tell you that in NNL we are doing everything possible to ensure that welfare of players is paramount. For us in the NNL, the players are the engine oil with which the process is driven.
“An engine cannot run without oil, so the players are the oil and we are going to ensure that their welfare is protected. We don’t also want a situation where the clubs will overprice players such that they cannot pay. We want a situation where what you agree to pay, you must pay. But we will give you a basic salary that you will not go below,” he said.
On the issue of officiating, the chairman said that it is the sole responsibility of the NFF and that they have trained the NPFL referees. “In a very short while, that of the NNL will start. My greatest joy is that a lot of players are moving from the NNL to the NPFL. That gives me joy,” he concluded.
Over 30 clubs’ representatives attended the workshop.