The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was among the world’s leading football leagues that reached a decision in Paris, France on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 to form a new global organization that has been set up to work with FIFA on issues affecting professional football.
Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko was one of the 23 heads of national Professional League bodies at the meeting where the formation of the ‘World Association of Leagues’ was announced following the second World Leagues Forum. The first held in England. A total of 23 professional leagues were involved in the meeting, which has led to the creation of a permanent association to liaise with world football’s governing body.
A working group of five leagues has been established to develop the formal structure for the new association. The group is composed of: Enrique Bonilla, president of Mexico’s Liga MX; Don Garber, commissioner of North America’s Major League Soccer (MLS); Mitsuri Murai, chairman of Japan’s J League; Christian Seifert, chief executive of the German Football League (DFL) and Frederic Thiriez, president of the French Football League (LFP).
This group, chaired by Thiriez has been entrusted with finalising the details for structuring the association by January 2016. “The professional leagues from the whole world want to participate in the rebuilding of FIFA and football institutions,” Thiriez said, in a communiqué released at the end of the meeting. He added that it is crucial professional leagues are “involved in the decision-making processes”.
Dikko met with officials of the Spanish La Liga on the sidelines of the meeting to finalise bilateral agreement between the NPFL and La Liga and also had fruitful meetings with officials of the German Bundesliga and the English Premier League.
The LMC Chairman said, “this meeting also provided platforms for most of the leagues to hold bilateral talks and for us from Nigeria, it was an opportunity to finalise discussions already initiated with the La Liga, the Bundesliga and the FA Premier League that will assist us in capacity building, technical training and club development”.
Dikko also described the meeting as beneficial to global football as the four candidates to the FIFA Presidency made presentations on their vision for world football to the World Leagues Association.
“I will be presenting my report to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the presentations made by the four candidates running for the office of FIFA President as we had time to interact with them on their plans for football”, stated Dikko.