NFF to decide on NPFL kickoff, other football matters tomorrow

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The executive committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will tomorrow meet in Abuja to decide when to begin the 2020/2021 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season and other football competitions across the country.

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Government suspended all sporting activities to stem the spread of the virus. While other countries, especially in Europe and the Americas, reopened their sporting arenas in June albeit without fans, Nigeria’s Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 only gave the nod for contact sports to resume in the country last week, prompting custodians of the sector to start planning their programmes for a new season.

A source at the NFF told The Guardian yesterday that the bigwigs at the federation will meet tomorrow to deliberate on the modalities for the resumption of football and the measures already adopted by the various clubs and stakeholders in line with the COVID-19 protocols set by the PTF.

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“The NPFL kick off date is top on the agenda, but the board will also look at the reports of the various committees it set up to examine some recent issues in Nigerian football.

“At the end of the day, we may know when and how football will restart and what is expected of all the stakeholders,” the source, who pleaded anonymity, said.

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Nigerian league governing body, League Management Company (LMC), had earlier set September for the kickoff of the competition, but the PTF’s ban on contact sports put paid to that date.   

Speaking on the kick off of the league last month, the LMC reminded the clubs on the need to comply with the club licensing regulations, adding, “there will be enhanced, robust and comprehensive implementation of these regulations, as well as other NPFL participation conditions, as enshrined in the NPFL rule book and other extant applicable documents.”

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It warned that it would adhere strictly to regulations, saying that clubs must comply to such conditions as “upgrade of stadium facilities and familiarisation with other criteria as provided in the club licensing regulations to ensure they are fully compliant.”

The body said it would carry out spot checks on all license applicants to ensure full and sustained compliance by all clubs before they are allowed to participate in the league.

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