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Shola Ogunnowo
COO, Nationwide League One

"I am a professional and operate with the guiding rules and regulations. I have no friend or enemy, and therefore, I operate with an open mind." Shola Ogunnowo, COO NLO

The Chief Operating Officer, COO of Nationwide League One, NLO, Mr Shola Ogunnowo has shed more light on the operations of the league in a recent interview with journalists. 

Speaking on the number of divisions in the NLO, and how it is being segmented, Mr Shola Ogunnowo said the NLO have only 2 Divisions; Div 1 and 2, and that the Division 2 is the youth league.

"We have only two divisions in the NLO, Division 1 and Division 2. The division 2 is the youth league and it's a regional league because it played in zones. Since it an amateur league, we have to consider finances of the clubs in moving around." He said.

He also gave an insight to the reasons why the NLO calendar date is different from that of the Nigeria Premier Football League and that of the Nigeria National League.

According to Ogunnowo, "the league can not start or struggle to start with the professional leagues because, it is a developmental league where professional clubs picks players from. 

Speaking further, Shola Ogunnowo reiterated the need to give them more time.

"We need to give them time to go to the grassroots to recruit more players to enable them to have good players to showcase again." He stressed.

Responding to the issue of the large number of clubs, he said: "The total number of young players in an organised league is far below the number of Nigerian youths involved in football. Therefore, the NLO needs to encourage more clubs at that level to be in an organised settings by involving more grassroot teams to expose talent.

On how he and his team have been able to manage the league all these years without rancour or crisis, Shola revealed that, as a professional, he operates within the guiding rules and regulations.

"I am a professional and operate with the guiding rules and regulations. I have no friend or enemy, and therefore, I operate with an open mind. 

"My staff are trained to work in line with my ways of attending to issues. We take collective decisions during the league and along any other issues." He stated.

He also delved into the issues of the league's record keeping on the players and clubs, saying that the records of the NLO are reliable because, the data are on their database which cannot be tampered with. 

"You can go to our mobile app or website and check on NLO players; they are all there." Ogunnowo stated.

On his advise to grassroot club owners, the NLO Chief Operating Officer disclosed that, he has told the Club Owners to know why they are running the club.

"The only message is for them to get to know why they want to be involved. It is either as a business, as a charity organisation (NGO) or, alternatively as a politician who just wants his name to be on the streets for sponsoring football.

In his conclusion, Ogunnowo reiterated that the new Board, led by Mr Silas Agara is ready to take the league to a whole new level.

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