Saturday, October 26, 2013

NPFL new season to start early

The League Management Company (LMC) has said it will announce a new kick-off date for the 2013/14 Glo Premier League season.

The company explained on Thursday that it is working out a schedule to ensure that next season's Glo Premier League, also known as the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), finishes before the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil takes centre stage.

The LMC noted that the recent circular from Caf to implement the club licensing regulation among clubs of its member federations is also being taken seriously.

A definitive date for commencement of the new season is expected to be announced on October 30.

“In order to meet the CAF deadline and ensure that our clubs participate in the 2014 CAF club competitions, we have had to set in motion the process for the implementation of the mandatory Club Licensing and this process will start on Wednesday in Abuja with a consultative meeting of the LMC and the Clubs.

“While we work at re-jigging the schedules for the next season to finish before the World Cup, we will also look at options that will at least ensure that our calendar is in sync with the global football leagues’ calendar,” said the LMC chairman, Honourable Nduka Irabor.

“The LMC recognises the challenges the tight fixtures we ran in the just ended season imposed on the clubs but we must also admit that it was mitigated by the unfortunate early exit of our clubs from continental championships hence we didn’t suffer backlog of games when the season was to end. This time, we may not have that luxury of time especially if our clubs do well and given the various national engagements such as CAF Nations Cup Championship beginning Next January 11 which will be dominated by players from premier league clubs.”

Clubs in the Nigerian league have, however, been reluctant in embracing the club licensing regulation recently until Caf mandated that failure by clubs of its member federations to meet the December 31, 2013 deadline will lead to erring clubs forfeiting their spots in the Champions League and Confederation Cup.

"I believe the club licensing is one of the magic wands to unlocking the route to financial enrichment for our clubs. At the same time, it will help in the area of players welfare which is very paramount," stated Irabor.

Kano Pillars are champions of Nigeria and will take part in the 2014 Caf Champions League alongside Enyimba who finished as runners-up last term.

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