Sports Intelligence Magazine, an online sport media geared towards promoting, developing and supporting Sports in Nigeria and beyond through Journalism, on March 2, 2021 made a Freedom of Information request to the League Management Company (LMC) requesting for information on how the Supersport deal was expended.
The two-page request was addressed to the Chairman of the LMC and received at its office in Osun Crescent, Abuja.
The background to the request was an article published by Goal.com and authored by Oluwashina Okeleji which was updated on December 22, 2020 titled: “NPFL Story: A History of Scandal and Mismanagement,” which gave a picture of how the LMC administrators poorly managed the league, making it impossible to attract further sponsorship deals.
Paragraph 5 of the said story states that “In August 2013, the LMC announced it had signed a four-year television rights deal with satellite broadcaster Supersport from 2015 to 2019. The deal was reported to be worth $34m, of which Supersport paid a two-year advance of $4m as a sweetener to fund the running of the league.
Sadly, the next paragraph went on to state that Supersport has exited from the NPFL and the circumstances and reasons for the exit; the author stated that: “In 2017 though, two years shy of the expiration of the contract, Supersport announced it was pulling out of the agreement, ostensibly as a consequence of the prevailing economic situation in the country. The naira suffering against the dollar, combined with the absence of return on investment – the LMC were apparently not doing enough to market the league and drive viewership – meant it was not expedient for the partnership to continue.”
Sequel upon this, Sports Intelligence Magazine invoked Sections 1,2 (1)(3) (V), 2(3) 31 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to request the following:
1. The exact amount paid by Supersport for the sponsorship of the NPFL.
2. A list of NPFL football clubs that benefited from the sponsorship deal and the exact amount each club received.
3. The bank account details where the sponsorship deal with Supersport was paid into.
Sports Intelligence Magazine also enquired and browsed through the official website of the LMC (https://npfl.ng) to seek relevant information that could further explain the circumstances and breakdown of the invested sum which Supersport made for the period of the deal, but no information was found, as the said website has already been suspended as at time of issuing this release. This however, clearly indicates that the LMC did not comply with the provisions of the FOI Act by providing relevant information available to the public at the nick of time.
Having made the above request, it is expected that the LMC as a public institution would comply and provide the relevant information as enshrined in the FOI Act within 7 days of receipt of the said request. This is to ensure that the transparency and accountability which the LMC represents is seen in their actions.
For further information, please contact
Joseph ODOEKWUSports Intelligence MagazineEmail:firstname.lastname@example.org