Tuesday, June 30, 2009

NPL To Ban Bad Pitches Next Season

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has declared that it would not accept television-unfriendly pitches from the 20 clubs that would compete in the 2009/2010 season.
Executive secretary of the Premier League board, Alhassan Yakmut, stated that it was noticed that some of the pitches used for matches in the course of last season was below the standard set by the body.
The NPL scribe also disclosed that the league arbiter would adopt the same method of inspecting the home grounds of all 20 clubs scheduled to take part in the new season tentatively fixed to commence in August.
“Some of the pitches that were used for Premier League matches were not television-friendly because they were not in the best of conditions. Before the start of last season, if you remembered, we had our assessors to go round and inspect the facilities of clubs and they came back with their reports, which led to the banning of some stadia until they met our requirement.
“In order to have television-friendly stadia next season, we will still go round as we did last season to inspect stadia proposed as home grounds by the clubs. We will not accept any stadia that is below our requirement because we want to set a standard for every club,” he said.
On the difficult of enforcing the rules on television-friendly pitches considering the fact that some of the clubs would lose its home grounds to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be hosted by Nigeria, Yakmut said the Premier League board is taking notes and would meet with the clubs to look for other alternatives.
He explained that the NPL is aware that six stadia is being pencilled for the cadet World Cup after taking its inventory.
“Any club that is affected by its stadium being taken for the Under-17 World Cup would have to look for another ground to play till the they can return to their original stadium,” he said.
Yakmut also lamented that the arrangement the NPL has put in place to assist clubs to own their stadia is yet to work, as it is still waiting for the clubs to come up with their Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for lands handing to them from its host communities.
“The plan to build stadia for the club is a long-term project. But the response has not been encouraging so far. All the Premier League board wants is just for the clubs to bring documents that include Certificate of Occupancy for lands given to them by their state governments and such documents must be in their names,” he quipped.

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