Football Development has come a long way in Africa but then a lot more needs to be done if African football is ever going to be taken seriously. Africans are very passionate about football and the world knows lots of our football feats since our coming into the global football stage not quite long ago.
With most African countries coming into the global football stage less than a century ago, it may be realistic to state that African countries are punching far above their weight when we consider the tremendous success some African countries had been able to make in the global football within such a short time of joining the world football league.
Despite Africa’s praiseworthy football achievements especially if time is put into consideration, a lot needs to be done as regards football development in Africa. While it may take over a century before football development in Africa will be at par with what is happening in Europe, Nigeria in particular and Africa, in general, needs to start looking into some factors that could impact faster football development in the continent.
Some of these challenges impacting football development in Nigeria, Africa and other Developing countries include:
- Lack of Football Academy: Most Footballers in developing countries had to start their football career from the street. For most footballers in developing countries, nobody really takes interest in their talent early enough, unlike developed countries where football talents are discovered as early as 9 years old, footballers in developing counties, however, have to stay in the street cover till maybe age 16 when they can play with the bigger boys maybe in a primary or secondary school football field, at this stage, their counterparts in developed counties are already going on loan and playing in some big teams.
- Lack of Serious Investment for football Clubs: Most Football clubs in developing countries lacks basic investment. These lack of investment have resulted in poor footballing facilities, lack of fund to pay players and employ staff and at the long run, these lack of investment into Developing countries’ football makes it impossible to gain a wide range recognition within the global communities killing the business potentials of such football clubs in developing countries.
- Excessive Government Interference: Despite the fact that football clubs in Africa may be said to be in the same league with football clubs in developed countries, the reality in African football is such of substandard football clubs run by substandard governments, with most football clubs in Nigeria affiliated with their respective home state government, Nigerian football clubs, for example, are almost a failure just like the Nigerian state. Most Football clubs in Nigeria are not independent or privately owned, with the poor state of governance in Nigeria marred with chronic corruption, the Nigeria football space is just as bad as the Nigeria state itself. Anything controlled by the Nigerian government is very likely to be impaired in corruption, a similar fate had befallen African football in other African countries.
- Negligence: There had been resounding negligence of African football especially at the club level, this negligence is meted out by both the African populace and the media space, for instance, most Nigerians will watch international clubs on their TV but would hardly tune in to stations showing African leagues talk more of going to watch the games in the Stadium. The media is not helping out as they deliberately ignore the African leagues, the media is not entirely to blame in this case because since most media outlets are for business, they would always go for what the people are going to patronize besides most of African media space are dominated by foreign businesses which had been thriving with imperialism and prefer things the way they are.
- Time Pressure: Africa is currently running on the backlog of time, the world keeps moving that’s why it is hard to catch up, Africa is backward, as we grow so do others grow, we need to grow a little faster if we would ever catch up but the reality is that those already ahead have a whole lot in their favour such as mastery, resources and stability. With these realities, it will be very had to meet up, the world is not just going to pause their development so that others can develop, as we keep trying to get there, they keep trying to move on, the pressure of playing catchup, the reality of time is very crucial are we just going to jump to that big stage, of course, that’s exactly what we did but even that have its own price and side effects.