MFM, Remo FC clash in star match as bet9ja/NPFL season kicks off today
• Make local league more attractive, sponsor tells LMC
The 2021/22 season of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) will kick off today with MFM FC hosting its regional rivals, Remo Stars, in the star match of the opening week at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.
Organisers of the competition, League Management Company (LMC), yesterday, in Lagos, officially signed the title sponsor deal with Bet9ja, with both sides agreeing to work together to make the Nigerian league as attractive as its counterparts in more developed countries.
Head, Human Resources, Bet9ja, Kiki Boboye, tasked officials of the LMC to do everything possible to retrieve Nigerians’ attention from foreign leagues to the NPFL saying: “At Bet9ja, we go for the best and we want the LMC to turn attention of Nigerians from foreign leagues by giving us the best.”
Chairman of the LMC, Shehu Dikko, described the coming of bet9ja into sponsorship of the Nigerian league as symbolic, promising that the LMC will provide for the league the same platform foreign leagues enjoy. “Today, we are here to formalise everything about this sponsorship deal, and we are ready.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the LMC, Davidson Owumi, said: “LMC is the biggest event manager in the country, and I assure Bet9ja that it is putting its money in the best place. All the clubs will benefit from this sponsorship and our massive reach out. Within the next three to four years, Nigerian league will be a top brand in the world.”
Chief Executive Officer of Nilayo Sports and sponsorship consultant, Bukola Olopade, said Bet9ja has put a lot into Nigerian sports, adding that its relationship with the LMC started many years ago. “This organisation has put smiles on the faces of Nigerian youths on daily basis, and we at Nilayo Sports are very proud of what Bet9ja has done. I am sure the LMC will be willing to extend the sponsorship deal to 10 years at the end of the day,” Olopade stated.
MEANWHILE, First Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, has commended Bet9ja for the deal with the LMC. He said: “I am sure the league will see something different with the coming of Bet9ja. We will bring our league to the point that every player will be proud of, before going abroad for professional career.”
Apart from the opening game at Onikan, nine other matches will hold this weekend across the country.
NPFL defending champions, Akwa United, will host Kano Pillars in Uyo, Gombe United and Shooting Stars Sports Club, that just returned to Nigeria’s top flight, will face each other.
Lobi Stars will host Rivers United in Makurdi, Enyimba FC will face their arch-rivals, Abia Warriors in Aba, Rangers of Enugu will be guests to Katsina United, Niger Tornadoes are pitted against Plateau United, just as Sunshine Stars will host Wikki Tourists in Akure, while Kwara United will face Dakkada in Ilorin.