Azubuike Hycent a former professional footballer now football player manager who played with different teams in the Spanish second division has lamented over the poor state and maltreatment of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) players.
The ex-footballer speaking on Jordan FM on Saturday afternoon, revealed how an official of the country’s apex football body, Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) insisted that there is no league player who can force him to leave the comfort of his home to go watch an NPFL game.
“I was on the flight with late Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi to Malaga, Spain where the Super Eagles was camped preparing for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), when I got to Malaga and to the Super Eagles hotel the next morning after breakfast some officials of the Nigeria Football Federation where talking about Nigeria football they where arguing I was there, one of them then asked saying mention one player from the Nigeria league the will make me leave the comfort of my home to go watch,” he said.
“I felt very bad that look at the people that where meant to protect the image of the league are now casting it, what is the fate of the Nigeria Professional Football League players, honesty it breaks my heart seeing how the players play for six month and then not being paid, traveling on road for a long distances, their welfare not being taken care off, when a player is happy that is when he plays good football, you know this players this is what they want to do you just have to give them opportunity let them do it, and you have to select players on merit”.
Azubuike Hycent who is also a Spanish citizen cited an event which happened when the NPFL went on tour to Spain after the Partnership with the Spanish LaLiga. How the NFF officials arrived before the players who are the main actors.
“There was this LaLiga programme in conjunction with the NPFL they came to Spain I was at the airport to receive them because I have brothers who where coming along like Sikiru Olatubosun, Jamilu Alimi, I was there with the LaLiga President because I speak Spanish, the first batch that came out of the flight were the NFF officials alone, with the players missing their flight, the people in Spain where asking me in Spanish where are the players is this how you run your football.
“Who are you to blame the administrators are not giving the players equal chance, I remember a similar incident when my cousin Chukudi Inworgun who was in Russian then, they where to play Egypt in a friendly going for training at the National Stadium, the coach was shouting at the home based players that they are late but him and some other professionals where still inside the hotel, and noting was being done, I think they should be given equal right let them compete, like some home based they will ask them not to come to the second floor because the foreign based were there.
“It is not right, that is not how it been done abroad if you don’t carry the players along how do you boost their confidence, it’s a trend and nothing has been done because those at the helm of affairs are not working on” he concluded.