The Nigeria Professional Football League could not account for any outfield player in the 40-man provisional AFCON squad list released by the Super Eagles coach
There was outrage in the Nigerian Media space at the omission of NPFL-based outfield players from the 40-man provisional AFCON squad released by Jose Peseiro.
Soccernet.ng cites a probable reason for the exclusion of NPFL players after a new video surfaced on the internet, showing the poor state of a Nigerian stadium.
Several reasons were mentioned to explain the rationale behind the exclusion of the home-based players, including the quality of the players, or even the league as a whole.
As the 2023 AFCON tournament approaches, a more glaring reason for the exclusion of the players might have come to light, which is the standard of the NPFL stadiums.
Ahead of the clash between Remo Stars and Heartland, a video broke out on social media, showing the terrible state of the Dan Anyiam Stadium where the game is to be played.
This is Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri where Heartland v Remo Stars will be played tomorrow.
The league body approved this pitch for a professional game. pic.twitter.com/vhqGq8Qp1Z
— POOJA!!! (@PoojaMedia) December 27, 2023
The pitch had no laid turf in sight, and barely any natural grass, creating an open avenue for injuries to the players and the officials.
This has led to outrage in the Nigerian media space, and the NPFL governing body was not spared, as fans are desperate to know why they would approve a pitch that is way below standard to host a professional league game.
Sporting Lagos midfielder, Emmanuel Odafi, also made a complaint, urging the league body to do better by raising the standard of football pitch where the players ply their trade.
What in God's name is this ? Whoever approved a pitch like this should be sanctioned. Smh https://t.co/3IthmEAZxX
— Emmanuel Odafi (@D1qraze) December 28, 2023
With scenarios like this, the league is put in a bad light, for foreign and local investors, and even for the players, making it hard for them to get recognition because of the poor playing environment.