‘NPFL delayed league kickoff to put all clubs on equal footing’

The 2020/2021 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) kickoff has been delayed to ensure all the clubs involved in the competition begin the season on equal footing, The Guardian has learnt.

There were reports in the media that the season would begin this weekend across the country, but the League Management Company (LMC), organisers of the competition, a few days ago announced it would now start on December 13.

Secretary to the Club Owners Association, Aloy Chukwuemeka, explained yesterday that the decision to delay the kickoff was to allow clubs playing in continental competitions complete their first round games to ensure that all the teams begin the season at the same time.

“We don’t want a repeat of what happened in the past that questioned the integrity of the league. The clubs and organisers agreed to the delay to ensure that outstanding matches do not interrupt the scheduling of the games.

“We want to ensure that all the clubs, as much as possible, begin and end the competition the same time,” he said.

Four clubs, Plateau United, Enyimba, Rivers United and Kano Pillars are representing the country in continental competitions.

While Plateau United and Enyimba are in the CAF Champions League, Rivers United and Kano Pillars are in the Confederation Cup.

Chukwuemeka said the LMC and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would meet early next week to ratify the league kickoff and agree on other outstanding issues, adding that an official statement on the competition would be made after the meeting.


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