The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) chairman, Shehu Dikko was among the heads of 27 professional football leagues of the world that attended the Annual Meeting of the World Leagues Forum (WLF) hosted by Major League Soccer in New York City on Wednesday, November 22.
The WLF is the world association of professional football leagues and includes 32 leagues from around the world. Its purpose is to improve governance structures in world football, address the issues of professional football and foster cooperation among its members.
Nigeria attended the inaugural meeting of the forum which held in London in 2014 and has since been regular at all follow-up meetings.
Jerome Perlemuter, WLF General Secretary. said the meeting in New York again witnessed positive deliberations by members in attendance with FIFA represented by Victor Montagliani, Vice President of FIFA, President of Concacaf and Chairman of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee.
According to Perlemuter, “the leagues supported the constructive steps taken by FIFA to include the leagues in the governance of world football”.
A statement from the General Secretary noted that “the leagues welcomed the recent agreement between the WLF and the other stakeholders on the amendment of FIFA’s regulation on overdue payables in football”.
It further stated that the WLF stressed its commitment to work on improving the regulation of football in the field of transfers and intermediaries and added that “an internal consultation will be conducted in the coming months across leagues with the aim of suggesting improvements to the regulatory framework of professional football”.
Another important the issue that was discussed at the New York meeting was the proposed expansion of the FIFA Club World Cup which the WLF considered detrimental to the world League.
“It is the strongly held view of the World Leagues Forum that the proposed expansion of the FIFA World Cup would be detrimental to all stakeholders in the game and the leagues will be making this point in their feedback to FIFA in the coming weeks.
The WLF members resolved to also continue to enhance cooperation between its members in order to help all leagues develop.
Already, the NPFL and the Spanish LaLiga have established a strong working partnership that has seen the two leagues cooperating on many fronts including in the area of youth development, a playing tour of Spain by an NPFL all-star team and setting up of a LaLiga office in Nigeria.