By Abdul Momoh
The Nigerian League Management Company, LMC the organizer of Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL has been adjudged as one of the best football league in Africa.
The goal keeper of Katsina United, Aliko Mustapha stated this during a chat with, Abdul Momoh, recently in Ilorin.
According to former Niger Tornadoes captain, the LCM has come forth gradually into being and has undergo evolution under the leadership of Mallam Shehu Dikko.
“The League Management Company in Nigeria today has come to stay and they are doing wonderfully well, unlike what it was in the past.
“Mallam Dikko is doing well as the chairman and his team and he has injected lots of initiatives into the system.”
The Ace Nigerian goalkeeper also lauded the Nigerian Referees for bracing up with their core mandate by changing the Nigerian League narrative.
“Nigeria Referees these days are doing wonderfully well. In fact, I would score them 10 over 10. I think they have indeed change the hitherto narrative owing to their performance before the stoppage of the leagues amidst COVID19 pandemics. They are doing well,” he said.
The longtime former captain of Niger Tornadoes however described his rise to limelight in the field of soccer to hard work, focus and determination.
“I’m nobody. I know where I started from and I know where am going.
To excel in the field of soccer, you have to work hard and pray hard.
” I started grassroots Football with Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON), I was playing then in amateur leagues in with Bida Lion when Kadri Ikhanna (MON) discovered me and moved me to Sunshine Stars of Akure some years back.
“If we talk of history, I love Niger Tornadoes, I have my family in Minna and I still love all my fans there. I left Niger Tornadoes amidst dissatisfaction from my fans , but I had no option than to move on. At a particular point when the pressure was much, I met some people and particularly I discussed with top personalities before I made that move.”
Aliko Mustapha expressed his disdains over non inclusion of Nigerian players in the recent CAF award and trace the lacuna to deviation in the erstwhile system in the country.
“In Nigeria today we lack many thing and our main problem is how we jettison the home boys for foreign players. Unlike before where players are followed up from amateur league to the apex league.”
He did however used the medium to expressed his readiness to go into coaching after retirement and urged NPFL players and fans to adhere strictly to precautions laid down by the government towards curtaining the novel corona virus pandemics.
“There is life after football. I’m planing to become a coach after retirement and surely I will go into coaching.
“Also, Nigerian soccer fans, players and stakeholders should endevour to follow the government’s rules toward combatting COVID-19,” he concluded.
Aliko Mustapha is an erstwhile goal keeper of Kwara United Football Club of Ilorin, Niger Tornadoes of Minna, Sunshine Club of Akure and he is presently plying his trade with Katsina United.
He was in goal at Aiteo Cup final between Niger Tornadoes and Akwa United held at Agege stadium, Lagos in 2017.
The Nigerian league veteran has also steered the Ikon Allah boys to final of the oldest cup competition in Nigeria in 2019 where they lost on penalties against Kano Pillars.
Aliko captained the team against Santoba FC of Guinea Conakry in CAF Confederation Cup which they won 2-1 but couldn’t make it to the next round.