Making Nigerian football attractive in a digital age
By Elom Sunday Njoku
Football is one of the games that unites the world, regardless of the extant cultural, political, ethnic, economic and other differences across the globe. Also worthy of note is that it is the most interesting and attractive game in the world, whose popularity and fan base cuts across age, sex and profession.
Today, every country has its local football with which they are proud of. Nigeria of course is not in exception.
Unfortunately, Nigerians are more glued to foreign football clubs and matches; not that there is no interesting and well performing Nigerian football clubs or quality matches been played. In fact, many people in Nigeria cannot name five Nigerian football clubs let alone their players, while they know even the place of origin of each foreign player, their clubs and earnings.
When you ask any of these foreign football fans how they got to know everything about all the foreign football, they would instantly tell you, ‘we are in a digital world. We follow all the match online and even stream them live.’ The question then is, is Nigerian football not part of the digital age? Why is Nigerian football not as attractive as its foreign counterpart?
The answer is clear. The whole problem revolves around presentation of Nigerian football activities by media, especially the new media (online media). It is important to note that the digital age under discourse here is the technological and information driven age. If this is the case, then it is not an overstatement that one can find not less than three stories on foreign football on every Nigeria newspapers and other traditional media, and more than five stories and analysis on their online platforms, blogs and social media platforms.
In fact, one could find virtually every video of foreign football match played three years ago on youtube. But how many of Nigerian football matches played or their analysis can be found even on Facebook?
It is unfortunate most Nigerian online and traditional media do not mention anything about Nigeria football, let alone presenting it in an interesting approach. The ones that dare mention anything about Nigeria football most time present the disheartening aspect of it. They either talk about only the poor performance of the players or the mismanagement of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and individual local clubs.
Funny as it is, some foreign football clubs seen as the best commit some terrible blunders. But instead of condemnation they are rather tagged new styles and strategies, all because of the way and manner in which the media present them.
Precisely, the best way to make Nigeria football attractive in this digital age is by giving it maximum positive online and traditional media coverage, analysis and presentation; if possible, more than the foreign football. For instance, Goal.com follows virtually every foreign match live online. It will definitely make a great difference if such action and approach be taken on Nigeria football.
It must be noted that most foreign countries do not know anything about Nigeria football through direct contact except through the information they absorb mostly from Nigerian online and traditional media platforms. One is surely addressed the way he/she dresses.
Also, Nigeria football must be free from political influence and interference. With this freedom, whatever positive information about Nigeria football would be authentic.
It is unfortunate most Nigerian online and traditional media do not mention anything about Nigeria football, let alone presenting it in an interesting approach. The ones that dare mention anything about Nigeria football most time present the disheartening aspect of it.