Friday, August 14, 2009

Premier League Faces Break For U-17 Mundial

The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) is expected to be put on hold when the FIFA Under-17 World Cup gets underway in the country on October 24 across nine venues.
Chairman of the Premier League board, Oyuki Obaseki, disclosed this to on telephone during the week that the league arbiter during one of its meetings with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the 20 participating clubs decided on that decision.
He explained that it would be impossible for the Premier League to run concurrently with the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, as the latter is a bigger championship than the former.
Obaseki added that since Nigeria is the host nation for a major world championship such as the Under-17 Mundial, it would be foolhardy for the NPL to continue the league when the spotlight would definitely focus totally on the cadet World Cup.
“When the Under-17 World Cup kicks off, there is no way that the Premier League would still be on. It is a simply thing because Nigeria cannot be hosting a big competition that the whole world would be watching and yet we will still be organising the league, which would show no respect to our country and that competition. We have told the clubs that for the period of the Under-17 World Cup. So there is no contest about that,” he explained.
The Under-17 World Cup would run for 23 days across eight venues in the country and some of the centres picked for the championship are home grounds to a number of the Premier League clubs.
However, the clubs may have to forgo their Christmas and New Year break after 23 days, which is five weeks, would have been taken away from the calendar of the Premier League.
The NPL chief explained that the top-flight league would continue through the Yuletide period just like it is done in England and just for this season alone.
“There will be no Christmas break this time because having lost a few weeks to the hosting of the Under-17 World Cup, we will want to meet up with our calendar for the season,” he informed.

No comments:

Post a Comment