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​Sports Radio Pioneer, Larry Izamoje, Canvasses Support For Nigerian Clubs, Leagues

By Adebayo Dawodu
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Founder/CEO, foremost sports radio station in Nigeria, Brilla FM, Dr. Larry Izamoje, has called for support to local football clubs and leagues in Nigeria in order to bring development to football.

He made this call in Lagos recently at the 3rdMemorial Lecture in remembrance of Femi Ajayi, the late founder of Footie Aficionados, a group of football enthusiasts in Nigeria.

The veteran football analyst who delivered a presentation titled ‘The Local Football Leagues & the Future,’ at the event, said football clubs in the Nigerian Premier League (NPL) need to be given huge support in order raise their standard and generate massive followership.

Although he noted that there has been a significant improvement in the NPL under the current supervision by the League Management Company (LMC), but a lot more issues have to be addressed to raise the game.

Dr. Izamoje said: “Poor funding, inadequate information, insecurity, management/ownership control, poor infrastructure, and unaccountability among others challenges hinder the development of Nigerian leagues.”

He noted that the huge followership enjoyed by European clubs and league across the world today was realised through deliberate and concerted efforts of well-meaning investors/sponsors, stakeholders and the media.

Speaking further, Dr. Izamoje identified ways local football clubs can generate revenue. He said revenue could come to clubs through gate tickets, souvenirs, jerseys sales, sponsorship among other streams of revenue.

After tracing the histories of English Premier League and South African League, Mr. Izamoje urged that the NPL should emulate successful models in other countries like England and Spain. He also urged clubs to utilise the media in order to promote their games.

The 3rd Femi Ajayi Memorial Lecture gave members of Footie Aficionados moments to reminisce on the late founder and to also bond as a group. Airtel Nigeria’s Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Emeka Oparah; Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc., Kufre Ekanem; Gbenga Adeyinka and Bolaji Oyewo of Cadbury and Colin Udoh of Supersport were at the event.

Also present were the Administrator and Co-Administrator of Footie Aficionados, Niyi Aladesulu and Charles Onwude; brother and sister to the late Ajayi, Wale and Keji, including Olumide Ajiroba, a brother in-law to the founder of Footie Aficionados.