Photo: Olushola Ogunnowo, Executive Secretary of Nigeria Nationwide League speaking at the Season’s Opening Media briefing held at Elias Lounge, Victoria Island in Lagos on Monday 4 May, 2015, while Vice President of NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi (m) looks on. –
The 2015 Nigeria Nationwide League, NNWL, season will kick off on Thursday 7 May, with Division One matches, while the Second Division commences on Thursday 14 of the same month.
Also, Division Three will start in July, while the NNWL body hopes to conclude the grassroots league season before end of August, ‘in conformity with the guidelines issued by its parent body, the NFF.
Eyeonthesports.com gathered that the NNWL will kick off with a ceremonious Kano derby between Wudil FC vs Shekarau Babes FC on Thursday, where about 10,000 fans are expected.
Speaking at a pre-season Press Conference held at Elias Lounge in Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday, NNWL Chairman, Alhaji Muazu Kawu said his board is ready to bring on board, some corporate organizations as its partners.
“After a lot of restructuring and redesigning of our activities, we are happy to announce that we have succeeded in keeping that promise to our members.
“As part of our efforts to bring our activities in line with global best practices, we are introducing a season opening match from this league season. The aim of this event is to provide an opportunity for interested organizations to have a feel of the kind of crowds and audience we command as Nigeria’s community and grassroots league and showcase these opportunities to corporate Nigeria”, Kawu said.
Consultant to NNWL, Nkechi Obi, who made an impressive presentation at the parley, hinted that the local league features
about 160 clubs in the 36 states of the Federation.
According to her, over 13,000 players, club officials, referees and administrators are taking part in the lowest tier of the domestic league.
Giving a breakdown of the teams, Obi said: “40 clubs would file out for actions in the First Division, Division Two has 56 clubs while the rest are in the Third Division”.
She stated that the board would raise funds to run an improved Nationwide League through its partners which includes: Verve International, Standard Alliance Insurance plc, Jovago.com, Heritage Bank, Puzzles Group, Radio Nigeria and Nigeria Television Authority, NTA.
Executive Secretary of NNWL, Shola Ogunnowo, said the Nationwide League has been a major tool used by the board to keep the boys off the streets.
While appreciating their partners and would be partners, Ogunnowo assured that the NNWL project will grow to be an envy of Nigerian football in the near future, concluding that: “Grassroots football has never had it so good, this is just the beginning of good things to come in the Nationwide League”.
Earlier, Vice President of NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, who represented NFF boss, Amaju Pinnick, praised the leadership of NNWL, espcially Shola Ogunnowo, for his role in making the Nationwide League a good brand.