Friday, July 10, 2009

New NPL Season May Kick Off Sept 12

With the Super Four for the top four finishers in the Premier League last season set to hold between August 17 and 23, it is becoming likely that the new campaign for the top-tier of the Nigerian league could kick off on September 12.
Last season’s campaign kicked off on September 13 with the opening game at the M.K.O Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta between Gateway Football Club and Warri Wolves.
The shift in the Super Four from July to August due to the involvement of Kano Pillars, Heartland Football Club and Bayelsa United in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup is one of the major reasons cited for the likely September date for the new season.
A staff of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) told our correspondent that the date of September 12 was mooted by executive members of the Premier League board when it met recently in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
But the September 12 is still tentative, according to our source.
“The Premier League board members in a meeting recently decided to pick September 12 as kick off date for the new season of the league. The reason for the September date is because of the Super Four, which would hold close to the end of August in Ilorin.
“I know you will remember that a circular was earlier sent out to you people in the media that the Super Four was going to hold from July 5, but the Premier League board had to shift it because of the continental engagements of three clubs in the country,” our source explained.
But it was also learnt that a commencement date for the new season could be decided when the NPL holds its congress later this month in Abuja.
Chairman of the Premier League, Oyuki Obaseki, said no date had been agreed upon for the new season, as the board is concerned with organising a successful Super Four.
However, he did not rule out a date in September as kick off for the 2009/2010 season.
“The Super Four is the first competition on our calendar for the 2009/2010 season. For us, we have decided to make that competition a pre-season tournament and that will be our first major concern. As you know, that competition would hold in Ilorin and we want to make it the best. As for the new season, we have chosen a new date yet, but there is every possibility that it will start in September by God’s grace. We do not make this decision alone because the clubs are part of the setup as well. But we will know the kick off date soon,” Obaseki, who is also the second vice-president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said.

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