NDLEA, NPFL partner on drug test for footballers

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) have agreed to partner on the conduct of drug tests for footballers in the country as part of efforts to curb the menace of substance abuse in Nigeria.

This was according to a statement by the Director, of Media and Advocacy NDLEA National Headquarters Abuja, Femi Babafemi, on Friday.

According to the statement, this was one of the high points of discussions between the leadership of the Agency and the football league when the Chairman of the NPFL board, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye led a delegation including ex-international, Daniel Amokachi on a courtesy visit to the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig Gen Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) in Abuja on Friday.

The delegation also included the Chairman of Sokoto State Football Association, Mohammed Saidu Nasiru; the Chief Operating Officer of the NPFL, Davidson Owumi and the Head of Legal, NPFL, Uche George Egbe.

Elegbeleye acknowledged the inspiring and impactful leadership Marwa has given NDLEA to become a frontline law enforcement agency now respected at home and abroad.

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He said the activities of the agency have not only raised national awareness about the drug scourge but have equally curbed the impunity of drug cartels and barons.

He said part of the problems facing the sports industry in the country especially football is betting and the use of performance-enhancing drugs by footballers.

He said he has to reach out to the agency for partnership to salvage the situation.

“The only agency that can save this situation is NDLEA by working with us to carry out random drug tests on our players. Once they know we conduct drug tests, they will refrain from abusing illicit substances. This is why we seek the support and partnership with NDLEA”, Elegbeleye stated.

In his response, Marwa commended the NPFL boss for his giant strides and innovations to build the football league.

He assured that the agency won’t relent in its offensive action against drug cartels in the country. He expressed the willingness of NDLEA to partner with NPFL to curb the abuse of illicit substances by footballers.

Marwa stated: “We are happy with your request for random drug tests for players. This is available in all our commands nationwide and we are ready to work with you in this respect. We are very ready to collaborate and support you in your quest.”

He said the league should also consider mobilizing star footballers to get involved in open advocacy against drug abuse because a lot of youths look up to them as role models.

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