NFF to Decide on 2019/20 NPFL Season Friday


Duro Ikhazuagbe

A decision on how to end the 2019/20 Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be taken today by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

THISDAY learnt last night that the League Management Company (LMC) and the 20 club chairmen held a virtual meeting on Wednesday where 18 of the clubs restated their resolve to end the topflight season using the Point Per Game (PPG) model in determining teams to represent the country in CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup.

Enugu Rangers and Akwa United however opposed the rule.

League leaders Plateau United and second-placed Enyimba will play in the CAF Champions League, while Rivers United, who placed third will feature in the CAF Confederation Cup.

Aiteo Cup holders Kano Pillars will join Rivers United in the CAF Confederation.

There will also be no relegation or promotion.

It was a stamp on the decision taken by the club owners’ forum to end the season as against the ideal of Super 6 been canvassed by a section of the domestic club football.

A statement issued by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development yesterday evening insisted that the NFF is the final body to determine how the season is concluded without dragging it into the matter.

“We wish to state clearly that it the ministry was not part of the meeting of the Nigeria Football Federation, club owners and other stakeholders convened to decide on how best to end the ongoing season which was put on hold due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement stressed.
According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Gabriel Aduda: “Following a virtual meeting Presided over by the Honourable Minister on Monday, the Ministry directed that an enlarged meeting of the stakeholders should be convened to deliberate, agree and find a way forward and NFF should revert to the Ministry.

“Although the Ministry was invited, it decided to exclude itself to enable the stakeholders thrash out the critical issues and revert to the Ministry.”
Aduda further said that the Ministry was awaiting the final decision of the meeting communicated to it officially after which it would confer with the necessary authorities to make a final pronouncement on the league.”
He however insisted that the final decision on the league would be guided by the Covid-19 protocols and infrastructure.
The Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, had advised the Federal Government to postpone the National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for March 20th – April 1st 2020, in Benin city, Edo State due to the Covid-19 pandemic.