By Ihunanya Okoye
The outbreak of Coronavirus also known as Covid 19 this year was unexpected. The virus which was first spotted in Wuhan, China is moving rapidly around the world. It has killed many people and also halted many businesses; but the height of it all, that underlined the impact of the virus was when it crippled Sports activities around the world.
Many people are yet to come to terms that Sports at all levels have been affected by the virus. Sports programmes monitored on Television and Radio recently have shown that most Sports followers have been in mourning; clearly lamenting the postponement of some Sports activities by different associations such as the:
* London Marathon postponed to 4 October
* All British elite football called off until at least 3 April
* Uefa suspends Champions League and Europa League
* Wales v Scotland in Six Nations postponed
* Golf’s US Masters postponed
* England cricket tour of Sri Lanka called of
* La Liga announced Spain’s top two divisions suspended for at least two weeks over the coronavirus.
* Football in France and Germany’s top-two divisions suspended.
* The Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic, as Formula 1 expect the season to begin in May.
With all these Sports tournaments postponed and more likely to be postponed, most Sports followers have now focused their attention on the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) which has been overlooked over the years due to the exciting and aesthetically organized Leagues in Europe.
A close monitor of Media houses in Nigeria in the past few weeks have shown that most Sports enthusiasts have no choice now rather than embrace the NPFL since their favourite Leagues in Europe were postponed. Some are now eager to know updates on teams and the fixtures coning up while some are more eager and desperate to watch the teams live in different stadia across the country especially as the games are not shown on Television.
The Coronavirus pandemic has to a large extent unearthed the negative impact Leagues in Europe have had on the NPFL. Although, most people will argue that the handlers of the NPFL, the League Management Company (LMC) has not been able to make the League attractive enough to get massive followers. However, the situation can change now with the current development.
This article should not be wrongly misinterpreted because the virus has adversely affected us in one way or the other. It has become an ill wind that blows nobody good. However, the LMC should maximize on the opportunity it has offered to promote the NPFL since the virus has been clement in the country.
No one knows when the story of the coronavirus will end, but in the meantime, the LMC should embark on a massive revival mission which can transform the NPFL and bring back its lost glory.