By Amaechi Agbo
Former Flying Eagles assistant coach, Samuel Abimbola has described the planned cancellation of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League season as a bad omen to Nigeria football.
Speaking exclusively in Abuja, the former Gateway United Technical Adviser said that although giving the prevailing circumstance occasioned by the outbreak of coronavirus also referred to as COVID-19, there was no way the league could have continued.
Coach Abimbola who lamented that the past three years have not been good to domestic league owing to the way the seasons ended called on the League Management Company, LMC and the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to ensure that the opportunity created by the COVID-19 in aligning the league calendar with other European leagues is effectively harnessed.
Coach Abimbola spoke on the backdrop of the 17 NPFL club owners who on Sunday voted to abort the league and use Point Per Games, PPG system to determine the countries representatives at continental competitions.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that our league has to end this way. I look at it as a bad omen for Nigeria football. Two years ago, this is same way we ended our league. And again this year; we want to agree with everybody that there is pandemic but you will agree with me that if we have had a good football calendar, with the league starting as when due, by now will be having few matches to round up. Which could have enable us, just like what other countries are doing now, to see to the end of the league.
“Apart from the fact that the league is ending this way now, some are having five backlog of matches. So it is a bad omen. It is not something palatable. But because of life-saving decision, I have no option than to say thank God the league is ending. But it is not a good way for our league to always end this way.
“Because of the pandemic, I don’t want to blame the league organisers for taking this decision. Like I said previously, the best option is for them to call-off the league. Why is because the lives of people are at stake. And we don’t have the capacity to do what is happening in developed countries where they have the capacity and everything to take care of the players, officials and everybody around. We don’t have that capacity here.
“The league is ending now but I want us to learn lessons from this particular one that is having a very serious first majour that is causing us to end the league this way. We need to learn a lesson towards next season. God has provided a good chance now that the league is ending, therefore it behoves the organisers to put their house in order to prepare very well so that our football calendar year will rhyme with other football nations.”