By Akeem Busari

The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has proferred measured palliatives to Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF), on how to save the number one game in the world in the face of the ravaging coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter signed by NANPF’s President Tijani Babangida, MON and addressed to NFF President Melvin Amaju Pinnick, it lamented the global lockdown of world football caused by the scourge, stating that the effect has mitigated against the well-being of footballers, club owners and stakeholders.

It advised the football body to initiate a process for constructive dialogue amongst football stakeholders in line with the FIFA stakeholders committee to develop the right plans to mitigate the consequences of disruptions caused by Covid-19 and ensure that any response is harmonized in the common interest of the game.

It continued, “The committee is expected to address the issues of players salaries and other related issues that bothers on the regulations on status and transfer of players (RSTP) for the sustainability of the league and football generally, and of course, avoid the situations linked to clubs taking unilateral decisions to cut players salaries which could lead to other complications.

NANPF further expressed its surprise and  dismay that at this torrid times when the government and private organisations and well meaning Nigerians are putting in place palliative measures to cushion the effect of the lockdown on Nigerians, Yobe Stars football club displayed acts of insensitivity, as it unilaterally decided to cut 75% of their players salaries.

” We are already aware that some other clubs are already on the drawing board to do same. In view of the dangers it portends for the fortunes, welfare and future of the players and the game in the country, we implore Nigeria Football Federation to take earnest and proactive measures to secure the game,” it concluded.

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