The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will monitor the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in a step taken to map out match-fixing and many other corrupt practices hindering the success of the game.
Sports Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) announced this on Monday at a ministerial press briefing where he also presented his midterm reports on the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the minister, the NSC, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the EFCC, would set up a special committee to monitor NPFL matches across the federation.
Abdullahi reiterated the criminality in match-fixing stating critically that the law will not fail to punish the perpetrators.
“We want to restore the confidence of investors by bringing the spectators to the stadium and if we find anybody who has taken part or connived to fix a game in anyway, we are going to treat the case as a criminal offence and the law will take its full course,” declared Abdullahi.
The minister also said the formation of the League Managers Company (LMC) has improved the quality of the league as the pressure on home teams to win at all cost counts no more.
He noted that many of our youths have travel to oriental countries like Iran, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, among others to make a living from playing football even when such countries are not well established in terms of structures that fosters the growth of the sport.
He said some of the youths have ended up in jails in China as some ended up as drug traffickers.
The uncontrolled traffic and the issue of match-fixing, according to the minister have compromised the game of football in the country. People can no longer go to the stadium to watch football matches because they believe the scores have been pre-arranged, and youths rate the league as substandard compared to its foreign counterparts.