The seasoned sports administrator predicts that football after the global pandemic will witness a positive improvement

Abia Warriors sporting director Patrick Ngwaogu believes football will change for the better when the Covid-19 outbreak has been brought under control. 

The pandemic caused almost every professional football league around the world to be placed on hold following thousands of deaths recorded.

Italy’s Serie A was the first major league to be placed on hiatus after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte banned sporting events in the Lombardy and Veneto regions in February.

Thereafter, La Liga, Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga as well as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) were deferred after governments stepped in through the introduction of lockdowns.

As football-related activities seem to be recommencing after several weeks of interruption, some have raised concerns that the infection’s outbreak would have an adverse impact on the sport since many industries have suffered financially.

However, the astute football administrator claims that would not be the case because cooperate bodies would see the beautiful game as a boulevard to boost their visibility again.

“The post-Covid-19 era will augur well for football in Nigeria and the world in general,” Nqwaogu told Goal.

“During this period of the coronavirus pandemic, the world has come to appreciate the important role football plays in society.

“I am foreseeing a situation where the corporate bodies will embrace the sponsorship of football activities to launch themselves back to reckoning in a global economy immediately.

“I will only advise the organisers of the game to fully prepare themselves to embrace the boost that will follow after the pandemic.”

Patrick Ngwaogu PS

Several leagues in Africa have been suspended, but the future of the NPFL remains blurred as the League Management Company has not come up with their pronouncement.

Even at that, the Umuahia based outfit’s chief says the club would be contented with whatever decision the league organisers come up with while disclosing that the coronavirus furlough scheme was not adopted by Abia Warriors’ management.

“In Abia Warriors, our slogan is “be prepared”. We are prepared for whatever the organisers want,” he continued.

“Our boys have their training programs which they have been following religiously. When the time comes, anyone the organisers want, we are not moved

“I doubt if the LMC has told anyone that they are resuming the league now. In this situation, the matter is beyond them, even the NFF.

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“It’s the government that can declare the environment safe enough to restart the game in the country. We’re waiting patiently.

“We are very much up to date as it concerns the payment of players and officials’ salaries. I think what everyone is waiting for now is that of May 2020. Abia Warriors is not owing anyone, and everyone is receiving their salaries in full.”

Abia Warriors’ last result was a 2-1 defeat to MFM at the Agege Stadium. They currently sit in the 16th position on the NPFL table having accrued 30 points in 25 outings – a point above the relegation zone.


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