Think playing in the Nigerian Premier League was easy? Think again . The league is only two weeks old, and we are into match day 4 .
Taking a look at how the fixtures have been arranged, one question that comes to mind is why the rush? Did the league management properly consider the players health, and all other logistics involved?
Taking a look at the day 3 matches played over the weekend, and the matches to be played in the subsequent game week 4 which is just 3-4 days for the teams. For example a team like MFM played against Elkanemi Warriors in Maiduguri on Sunday, and are expected to play a match on Wednesday afternoon against Fc Ifeanyi Ubah at their Agege township stadium. That is a 1,552.5km return journey from Maiduguri, on average 3 hours 20 minutes journey by air , and a whole day’s journey by road. MFM is not alone in this ordeal, Same can be said for Enyimba FC who were away at the weekend in Katsina over the weekend and would be home to Nassarawa United on Wednesday, they will have to undergo a 1,120 km journey either by road or by air.
The nature of the league’s calendar clearly isn’t designed to bring out the best in the players, as injuries and fatigue is set to take its toll on the players. How will the coaches get the best out of their players considering they travel long hours between matches, Sometimes in less than conducive modes of transportation, the players also don’t get adequate rest before being beckon upon to file out for their next engagement.
This fixture list is really undesirable, considering that cup matches haven’t been factored in, also how does the league management expect clubs participating in continental competitions such as Champions league and confederation cup to cope with this schedule? Yet we wonder why our teams don’t perform well in their continental engagements.
Having a packed fixture list can be a good thing for the fans, as it give them more opportunities to watch their favorite teams in action. But in the long run it will have an adverse effect on the players, therefore the league management needs to shelve their interest and put the players well-being first.