The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has demanded US$10bn in royalties from networks broadcasting the English Premier League (EPL) in Nigeria.
According to NANPF president Harrison Jalla, the money would mitigate the damage caused to local leagues by English football’s “invasion” of Nigeria over the past 10 years.
The association says talent scouts and merchandise from foreign leagues are so active in Nigeria that local youth are more interested in foreign football fixtures and associated merchandise than Nigerian games.
“In light of this, we have initiated various moves that would ensure the local game benefited from this invasion, which, to say the least, has crippled the domestic game,” Jalla said.
He disclosed that the NANPF had contacted the relevant organisations and authorities to make its demands known. This includes the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Nigeria Lottery Trust Fund.
The NANPF has also been in touch with solicitors Johnson & Steller of London to initiate the process of obtaining the money.
Jalla said the English Football Association had been informed about the decision. “We wrote and informed them that their product [the EPL] was affecting the growth of our own game. They acknowledged receipt of our correspondence and promised to look into the case, but we don’t have the luxury of waiting for when they will come back to us,” he said.
If the demand is met, Nigerian television networks will be required to pay royalties to the Nigerian football authorities every time EPL matches are broadcast. “We are not calling for outright ban on foreign content, but they should pay some royalty to positively affect our local game,” Jalla said.