Jonathan Akpoborie: Nigerian football is doomed if Government remains in control

The former International has said that except Government hands off football, the game will not grow in the country
Former Super Eagles striker, Jonathan Akpoborie has confessed that Nigerian football will remain stagnant if Government remains in control of the game.

Akpooborie told that the game has stagnated for a long time because the game is not run as a business.

"There is no way things will work out right because Government is virtually in control of the important aspects of Nigerian football," Akpoborie told

"The Nigeria Football Federation still receives subvention from the Goernment. More that 90 percent of the clubs in the various Leagues are Government owned  so these clubs are so tied to Government that once there is no money from the State Governor, nothing happens.

"The laws that has given the Government to oversee everything about football must be amended. Take a look at what is happening in the Nigeria Premier League - the challenges are caused because it is a function of not being independent of Government when it comes to football.

"Players are not paid, clubs pay indemnities and the basic requirement that should make for a good league is not forthcoming in the league because Government has the final say on matters relating to football.

"And if Government spend their money, they will always have a say in decision making.

"We cannot forever rely on Government to fund the game. If they do, then nobody can talk to them. The Government can play a role in creating the enabling environment for the game to thrive.

"I have noticed that most football administrators prefer that Govenment continues to spend  money. But for how long are we to continue like this?

"Nigerian football needs to thrive at a fast pace. But that will only be possible if the business people are brought in to run the game.

"Something should be done and fast too so that the situation can be rectified. Let us start to make our football, private sector driven so that we will see the changes that will begin to happen in no distant time," Akpoborie concluded.