NPFL : 3 Major Reasons Why Homebased Players Prefer Obscure European Leagues Than Quality Local One

As a grassroot footballer it's good and of great interest to join a professional football club, and start your development.

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) have witnessed quality players leave to obscure European leagues on any slightest opportunity.

And this mass exodus of homegrown players to Europe has in so many ways affected the growth of the local league. Most atimes, players will prefer to play in even the remotest places in Europe, citing one reason or the other.

In this article will discuss what it believe are the reasons behind the urge for a European move.

3 major reasons Nigerian footballers prefer obscure European leagues than the local NPFL.

Grassroot Footballers from Bance’s football academy move abroad in search of greener pastures

The European League of Football (ELF) is a professional American football league with 17 teams across various countries in Europe as of the 2023 season.

The league was established in November 2020 and started its inaugural season on 19 June 2021. There are plans to expand the league to 24 teams by 2024. The European league is active in several countries including Austria, Germany, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, and Switzerland.

The league’s headquarters are located in Hamburg, Germany, and the most recent champion is Rhein Fire, who won their first title. The league operates on the continent of Europe.

The ELF aims to revive the enthusiasm for American football seen during the NFL Europe era. In contrast to NFL Europe’s heavy reliance on American players, there will be limitations on international players in ELF team rosters.

Emphasizing homegrown talent, the ELF plans to cultivate top players and potentially turn them into NFL prospects. The creation of an “ELF Academy” is one method they will employ, offering players the chance to develop skills needed to excel in the ELF and vie for a spot on an NFL squad, even though there won’t be specifically dedicated “youth teams” for ELF franchises.

European countries usually have a tiered league system with a top division known as the “top-flight” league like the Premier League in England or La Liga in Spain. Teams can be promoted or relegated based on their performance, ensuring movement up or down the league pyramid.

The league season typically runs from August to May, with teams earning points for wins and draws. Qualification for prestigious continental competitions like the Champions League and Europa League is also at stake.

Additionally, some leagues have playoffs and cup competitions, while clubs operate within transfer windows and adhere to financial regulations for stability and fair play. Each country’s league system may have unique rules, but the passion and popularity of European football leagues are undeniable in the global football scene.

A grassroot footballer playing on a sandy beach in Abidjan

The NPFL is the top tier of club football in Nigeria’s league system and has faced financial struggles and declining success since the late 2000s, similar to many other leagues. The NNL serves as a feeder league for the NPFL.

Nigerian footballers are opting to play in smaller European leagues rather than their own Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

Gaining more exposure and recognition:

There are numerous benefits to playing professional football in Europe, such as gaining more exposure and recognition.

The higher the caliber of the league, the better the chance of catching the attention of bigger teams and landing more profitable deals. Even participating in smaller European leagues can provide more visibility compared to playing in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

Moreover, playing overseas often comes with the potential for greater financial benefits. While the pay may not reach the levels of top players in prominent European leagues like the Premier League or La Liga, it can still be significantly more lucrative than what players typically earn at home.

Overall, playing football in Europe provides a range of opportunities for players to develop their skills, gain exposure and recognition, and receive better financial compensation. It is no wonder that so many talented footballers choose to pursue their careers on the continent.

Financial payment or Compensation:

One of the benefits of playing football abroad is the potential for better financial compensation.

Although salaries may not reach the same heights as those earned by top-tier players in major European leagues such as England’s Premier League or Spain’s La Liga, players can still earn significantly more than what they would receive domestically.

This added financial incentive can be a major draw for many players considering making the move overseas.

However, it is important to note that there are also concerns surrounding safety and infrastructure within certain foreign football systems. In Nigeria, for example, there have been reports of violence at matches and inadequate facilities for training and games.

Enyimba FC is the current NPFL champions, arguably the best football club in Nigeria at the moment.
Enyimba FC celebrating 2022/2023 NPFL title, will they celebrate on Sunday?

These issues have prompted some players to seek out safer environments elsewhere in order to continue their careers without putting themselves at unnecessary risk.
Despite these challenges, however, there are still many advantages to playing football abroad.

From the opportunity to experience new cultures and languages to the chance to test one’s skills against different styles of play, playing overseas can be an incredibly enriching experience for any athlete.

By carefully weighing both the pros and cons of such a move, players can make informed decisions about whether or not pursuing an international career is right for them.

Advanced infrastructure and sport equipments:

Most clubs in the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) do not have standard gym houses. Players from such clubs normally engage with commercials gym houses for their respective bodybuilding exercises.

The text discusses the importance of advanced infrastructure and sports equipment. Infrastructure refers to the necessary physical structures for systems to operate smoothly, while sports equipment comprises tools used in athletic activities.

Advanced infrastructure and sports equipment are modern and incorporate the latest technologies. When integrated, they can provide modern facilities like high-tech stadiums with state-of-the-art training areas equipped with advanced gear.

This combination is crucial for creating an environment where both professional athletes and amateurs can train effectively and safely.

Concerns have been raised about Nigeria’s football system, especially regarding safety and infrastructure. There have been instances of violence at matches, causing worry for fans and players.

Furthermore, the training and game facilities are considered inadequate, prompting players to seek better conditions elsewhere.

Despite the advantages of supporting local talent development, many Nigerian footballers are choosing to play abroad for the opportunity to gain recognition on a global scale and make a living.

It is crucial to address the issues within Nigeria’s football system to enable talented athletes to succeed in their own country without needing to go abroad for better prospects.

In the bigger picture, it may seem unreasonable for Nigerian footballers to leave their home country and play abroad instead of nurturing local talent.

Osimhen started his football career on the streets of Lagos; and currently plays in Italy.

However, various factors make this option attractive for ambitious athletes aiming to succeed on an international level while also earning well. These factors include exposure to diverse cultures, chances for personal and professional development, access to top-notch facilities, and competing against global competition.

In summary, despite appearing unorthodox initially, many talented players opt to leave Nigeria for overseas football opportunities to establish themselves on the global stage. That notwithstanding, the NPFL is arguably the best and strongest in Africa.

NoteWOSPAC football academy in Barcelona is one of the best in Spain, and can offer grassroot footballers football scholarship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *