The League Management Company (LMC), organisers of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), have now picked Nov. 3 as a new kick-off date for the 2019/2020 NPFL season.
The new date is being backed by the conduct of the draw for the competition, held late on Monday in Abuja.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the draw was supervised by the LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, and the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Salihu Abubakar.
According to the LMC, the league will revert to its original format of the 20 clubsides represented in a single NPFL log.
During the course of the season, which will run from November to May, each club will play in a double round-robin system.
They will face each other once at their home stadium and once at that of each of their opponents, for 38 games each.
After a long consultative meeting which began at 6 p.m. and ended at 12 midnight, it was also agreed that the long-awaited season will now kick off on Nov. 3.
It is expected to end on May 30, 2020.
THE NPFL 2019/2020 MATCHDAY 1 FIXTURES
Wikki Tourists vs Jigawa Stars
Plateau United vs Lobi Stars
Delta Force vs Akwa Starlets
Kano Pillars vs Rivers United
Heartland FC vs MFM FC
FC IfeanyiUbah vs Adamawa United
Rangers International vs Sunshine Stars
Warri Wolves vs Akwa United
Abia Warriors vs Katsina United
Enyimba International vs Nasarawa United(NAN)
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
LMC, clubs await FG directives for NPFL season restart, won’t cut players’ salaries
Clubs in the season 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the leadership of the competition’s organisers, League Management Company (LMC), on Thursday evening met through digital video conferencing.
According to a report on the LMC website, the meeting afforded them the opportunity to assess varying options to concluding the suspended 2019/2020 season.
The meeting came on the heels of the LMC Board of Directors meeting held earlier in the day via same digital media.
All the clubs were reported to have offered a commitment to be part of any decision reached to conclude the NPFL season.
This will be whenever federal authorities advise for the opening of the country for business and other engagements including resumption of sports activities.
“It was unanimously agreed that we will continue to liaise with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development on the possibilities that will work for us and taking into consideration decisions that may be reached by CAF and FIFA with regards to international tournaments, calendar and regulations etc.
“So, any option and/or format that may be chosen will also consider the available time frame within this framework,” the report quoted LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko as explaining.
It said the meeting also agreed that should there be any exceptional support to NPFL, the privately-funded clubs in the NPFL would get priority attention in the distribution.
“The clubs also affirmed their commitment to paying salaries and wages of their players and officials during the period and have no intention of cutting down salaries and wages of players under the current circumstances.
“They are even thinking of how to keep supporting their players within this difficult period in line with the objectives of their various owners.’’
Also, on the clubs’ personnel , the report indicated that it was also resolved that whenever the league would resume, all the players, coaches and backroom staff are to be tested for COVID 19.
This is among other strategies to be adopted to guarantee the well-being and health of everyone involved with the NPFL.
“In this regard, the LMC will liaise with the Minister of Sports to facilitate this objective.’’
The report added that the LMC was encouraged to continue liaising with sponsors and potential sponsors towards expanding the league’s revenue as envisaged.
The meeting agreed to keep motoring the situation as it unfolds as regards COVID-19 and to keep the conversation open accordingly.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Police confirm abduction of 2 NPFL players in Ondo
Police confirm abduction of 2 NPFL players in Ondo
: The Ondo State Police Command has confirmed the abduction of two players of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by gunmen on Benin-Akure Expressway on Sunday evening.
The players are Dayo Ojo of Eyimba FC and Iluyomade Benjamin of Abia Comets FC.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Akure, said the Police were already on the trail of the hoodlums.
Ikoro said one of the players, who managed to escape, has been rescued by officers of the State Police Command.
“We have been able to rescue one of the players and our men are already in the bush after the kidnappers.
“I will get the details of the incident as soon as I get the information from the Divisional Police Officer of Ipele Owo,” the PPRO said.
NAN gathered that the two abducted players were on their way to their base in Akure from Owerri , after a holiday was declared for virtually all NPFL players following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The duo, who were former players of the Sunshine Stars FC of Akure, were kidnapped at Ipele town on Benin-Akure Expressway in Owo Local Government Area of the state.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ismail Abdulazizxz
COVID-19: Maikaba commends LMC over suspension of NPFL matches
The Head Coach of Plateau United FC of Jos, Abdu Maikaba, has commended the League Management Company (LMC) for suspending the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Maikaba made the commendation in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Jos.
The safety of players and match officials during matches is key, he said while reacting to the announcement by the LMC on Wednesday suspending the league for four weeks.
“I think for safety reasons the suspension of the matches and the entire league by LCM is a welcome development.
“We don’t know who and who is coming into the stadium and we don’t have to take chances.
“This virus is spreading very fast and it’s better we take drastic measures to contain it
“We value our fans a lot; they are our twelfth player, but we can’t take chances that may place our players and other officials at risk,” he said.
Maikaba urged the LMC to laise with the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies in finding lasting solution to the pandemic.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
NPFL: Nasarawa United draw goalless with Akwa United
Nasarawa United Football Club on Wednesday in Lafia drew goalless with visiting Akwa United FC of Uyo.
The draw was in a 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 25 fixture.
It was the first match the hosts were playing at their home ground Lafia Township Stadium since March 8 when Chineme Martins, one of their players, slumped and died on the pitch.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Nasarawa state government fulfilled its promise by making available adequate medical equipment and personnel for the match.
Two well-equipped ambulance from the state government and one from the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) were on ground to take care of any medical eventualities.
NAN reports that 11 medical personnel were also on ground —- four from Nasarawa United, two from Akwa United and five from the NRCS —- with stretchers and a well-equipped clinic.
In spite of the draw, spectators were entertained by efforts made by both teams to score.
Some spectators were even amused when in the 25th minute of the game, the centre referee called for a break for both teams to refresh themselves for five minutes before play resumed.
NAN reports that all efforts to score by both teams in the second half also proved abortive as the defence lines of both teams stood their ground till the final whistle was blown.
Kennedy Boboye, Head Coach of Akwa United, praised his players for adhering to plan.
He rued the chances they missed, which could have given them a memorable away victory.
“We lost it in Katsina and we agreed and decided to come here to get the three points. But it didn’t work the way we wanted.
“Nevertheless, I am impressed with the performance of my team. Our plan now is to go back and win our home matches.
“I am also impressed with the rate at which teams are picking points away and I hope it is maintained because, in the long run, it will be good for the NPFL,” Boboye said.
Earlier, before the match was played, a delegation from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) paid a condolence visit to Gov. Abdullahi Sule.
The visit was to commiserate with him over the death of the late Nasarawa United player.
The delegation was led by Ibrahim Gusau, a member of the NFF Executive Committee, who represented Amaju Pinnick, the NFF president.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NPFL: Warri Wolves suffer 3-0 defeat at Rivers United
Visiting Warri Wolves Football Club on Wednesday suffered a 3-0 defeat in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) fixture against Rivers United FC at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt.
The Head Coach of Warri Wolves, Evans Ogenyi, later told sportswriters after the match that his team lost the game because they did not take their chances.
“Football will always remain as football. We came here with a game plan, but it is unfortunate that things did not work out.
“So, the team that took its chances won the game and I have congratulated my professional colleagues because they took their chances.’’
He however blamed it all on anxiety, saying “ìt’s not as we couldn’t play, but out of anxiety or whatever we failed to take our chances and we lost.’’
Ogenyi however said it was not in his character to talk about officiating, and urged sportswriters, as major stakeholders, to refrain from being biased in reportage and be analytical.
“I want a situation that you will report games as you see them, because the sportswriters are partners in progress and are expected to report every area of the game for improvement.’’
In his reaction, Stanley Eguma, the Head Coach of Rivers United, said the match was a good one, especially as the outcome was as he expected.
“We actually came to win the match. We prepared very well, knowing full well that Warri Wolves have recently improved, especially in away games.
“We didn’t take them for granted. We knew that we were going to face a very tough game today (Wednesday), and that is exactly what we saw from the beginning of the game.
“They matched us head-to-head toe-to-toe and, at the end of the day, we tried to open them up because they were playing a kind of compact midfield in the first half,” he said.
Eguma stated that opening his opponents up on the flanks paved way for the first goal which spurred on his players and they capitalised on their opponents’ loopholes in the second half.
He however said “in spite of the victory, Warri Wolves as a team are not pushovers.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Malachi Ohawume scored a brace for Rivers United in the 37th and 83rd minutes, while Kunle Odunlami scored in the 73rd minute.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NPFL: Wikki Tourists beat Kano Pillars 1-0 in Bauchi
Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi on Wednesday defeated visiting Kano Pillars Football Club 1-0 in Bauchi in a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Matchday 25 fixture.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Wikki Tourists got the winning goal through a penalty kick taken by Idris Guda in the 54th minute of the match.
In a post-match interview, the Technical Adviser of Wikki Tourists, Usman Abdallah, commended his players over the victory.
Abdullahi said that in spite of the three points recorded by the team, he would not relent in his efforts to enable the team escape relegation.
He noted that though Wikki Tourists and 10 other teams campaigning in the NPFL were within the relegation zone, he must work hard to escape relegation being faced by his team.
The technical adviser assured fans of the team that the club would consolidate its relegation escape chance during the team’s next match with Heartland Football Club of Owerri in Okigwe.
He commended the officials who handled the match over what he described as “excellent officiating.”
Ibrahim Musa, the Technical Adviser of Kano Pillars said that: “In football you may lose here and win somewhere else which is normal.
“We have lost here and may win in our home match in Kano and I am taking this in good faith.’’
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi
Match day 25 results in 2019/2020 NPFL
Following are the results of Match Day 25 fixtures in the ongoing 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), played on Wednesday:
Plateau United 2-1 Kwara United
Wikki Tourists 1-0 Kano Pillars
Lobi Stars 1-0 FC IfeanyiUbah
Jigawa Golden Stars 2-1 Heartland FC
Sunshine Stars 1-2 Katsina United
Adamawa United 0-2 Enyimba International
Nasarawa United 0-0 Akwa United
MFM FC 2-1 Abia Warriors
Dakkada FC 2-3 Rangers International
Rivers United 3-0 Warri Wolves
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
NPFL: Plateau United thrash Kwara United 2-1
Plateau United FC of Jos has defeated Kwara United FC of Ilorin 2-1 in a midweek encounter of round 25 of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The match that was played on Wednesday at the New Zaria Road Stadium, Jos, saw Mustapha Ibrahim scoring a brace for Plateau united in the 16th and 25th minutes of the match.
Ajibola Otegbeye scored the only goal for Kwara United in the 50th minutes of the match.
Speaking after the match, Mr Ashafa Suleiman, the Head Coach of Kwara United, commended his boys for playing well, adding that the game was keenly contested.
Suleiman said his boys did not do well in the first half, but commended them for picking up in the second half and scoring a goal.
He promised that the team would intensify efforts to win subsequent matches in order to move to the top of the table
“The boys did well because Plateau United are a good side and with the outcome, it means my players did their best.
“We didn’t do well in the first half, but we came out well in the second half and it gave us a goal.
“We shall sit up in our subsequent matches to enable us to have a better result,” he said.
On his part, Abdu Maikaba, Head Coach of Plateau United, commended his boys for winning the game, adding the win had made them to maintain their top position on the league table.
Maikaba, however, chided the players for throwing away many scoring chances, but promised to work on the boys to convert good chances to goals.
He also promised to use his best eleven in the club’s encounter with Kano Pillars FC this weekend in Kano.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
NPFL: Warri Wolves whip visiting MFM FC
Warri Wolves Football Club on Sunday beat the MFM FC of Lagos 2-0 at the Warri City Stadium in a Match Day 24 fixture of the 2019/2020 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Substitute Okoyoh Michael put the hosts ahead in the 89th minute, while Charles Atshemene scored the second goal in the first minute of added time.
A combination between Goodluck Onamado and Abu Azeez almost earned Warri Wolves the first goal in the 8th minute but the final effort was deflected by the MFM FC goalkeeper.
At the resumption of the second half, both sides changed their tactical approach to the game.
Bala Akintunde of MFM FC was issued a red card for unprofessional misconduct in the 52nd minute and that changed the game plan for the visitors.
While Warri Wolves made three substitutions, MFM FC made two in the second half.
At the post-match interview, the coach of Warri Wolves, Evans Ogenyi, commended the performance of his players.
“Our opponents came with dull defensive tactics. When we played against them in the first stanza, we ran away with a win.
“I know they will now come with anger and I told my boys to expect a difficult match.
“We created about four chances in the first half, but they were wasted because of anxiety.
“In the dressing room, we said there was the need to up our game, be patient and take our chances, especially in the attack.
“On the whole, my boys did not play to their full potential today.
“But the important thing is that we got the three maximum points because we took the two chances that came our way,” he said.
The coach said he would now approach their mid-week match against Rivers United with every seriousness.
One of the day’s scorers, Michael said he dedicated the goal to the late Chineme Martins who slumped and died on the pitch on March 8.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
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