By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Moses Kpakor is almost sure that Plateau United will be crowned Nigeria Professional Football League champions today, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Plateau on 63 points, and who are in a two-way battle with MFM on 62 points, will host last season’s champions Rangers in Jos today.
MFM will be guests to El-Kanemi Warriors in Maiduguri.
A win for Plateau will see them become champions for the very first time in their history.
Kpakor, who won the now defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup with BCC Lions in 1990, posited that playing at home will give Plateau the advantage.
“I will give it to Plateau United because they are rounding off at home. But for MFM they are going to Maiduguri to face El-Kanemi and I don’t see them getting anything there, they will lose,” Kpakor told Completesportsnigeria.com.
“El-Kanemi are one of the teams who have done very well at home this season. Though in football anything can happen, I will still give it to Plateau because they are playing a home match.”
Kpakor however said the level of the Nigerian league will affect Plateau and MFM in the CAF Champions League.
“We should not expect anything from Plateau and MFM in the Champions League because to be honest the standard of the Nigerian league is poor and that is what is reflecting on our clubs’ performance in CAF club competitions,” Kpakor lamented.
“The quality of the football being played, the quality of officiating are two major areas that need to be addressed.
“Even the managerial aspect is nothing to write home about. If you ask many coaches about their salaries you would find out that they are owing them. And you find clubs giving coaches two to three games ultimatum. And in most cases it is the management that recruit players and only hire coaches to handle them.”
The 1990 Africa Cup of Nations silver medal winner added: “I remember back in the day when coaches like the late Amodu Shuaibu, Ben Douamlong used to be in a club for up to five years and we all witnessed their successes because they were given enough time to pass their ideas to the players.
“So until the proper things are done, we should not expect anything from both Plateau and MFM.”