The Nigeria Premier League has rescheduled its Week 1 fixtures following the protests that trail the fuel subsidy removal.
Champions Dolphins are scheduled to tackle Sunshine Stars in Port Harcourt on Saturday in a league opener while the other nine matches were initially fixed for Sunday. But a schedule nationwide strike planned by the Nigeria Labour Congress on Monday has made it risky to have teams returning from away fixtures play on Sunday.
In an emergency meeting of the NPL on Thursday, the body directed all the teams to play their matches on Saturday so that they can return to their bases on Sunday, 24 hours before the commencement of the strike.
NPL Chairman, Rumson Baribote, said the league body had no plan to postpone the start of the season, noting that the season was already four months behind schedule.
“Our plan for the season is not to have any game postponed because it will badly affect the calendar,” Baribote told our correspondent on the telephone on Wednesday.
“If we postpone, we won’t be certain of when to start the season because the problems we avoid now may still be there at a latter date. That will mean our league will suffer.
“But the NPL understands the security risk as regards teams travelling during crisis situation. We’ll do our best to manage the schedule.
“If we are inconsistent with our schedules, how do we integrate our calendar with CAF or other international fixtures. Even potential sponsors could be discouraged with such attitude.”
The Dolphins versus Sunshine Stars encounter will be the star match of the day hence the NPL officials have made arrangements to be in Port Harcourt on Friday for the game.
Fuel crisis: NPL reschedules fixtures