Coronavirus: NFF, Sports Minister propose completion of NPFL season within eight weeks of ending lockdown
The Nigeria Professional Football League will be concluded within six to eight weeks once restriction on movement is lifted.
NPFL games were suspended indefinitely on March 18 in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
And following reported cases in Nigeria, many state governments announced a total lockdown.
In Europe and elsewhere, the pandemic also led to suspension of football matches across all levels — and governments announcing a stay-at-home policy.
However, in recent days, a number of countries have eased movement restrictions — despite the fact that there’s been no significant drop in the number of new cases — and plans have been put in place to finish the season.
Similarly, the League Management Company and the Nigeria Sports Ministry have agreed to carry on with league fixtures as soon as the Covid-19 crisis is over.
“Following a meeting with the sports minister @SundayDareSD & the @thenff the season is now to be concluded within 6-8 weeks of the re-opening of the country once a clear go-ahead is issued by the relevant authorities to commence football activities,” the LMC revealed.
At the meeting, which was also attended by LMC boss Shehu Dikko, the parties also considered “possible timeline to start the new season”, “possible new formats for restarting the league”, “options for crowning the champions”, and “ensuring players, coaches & officials of clubs wages are protected”.
Matters concerning the lower leagues — including the Nigeria National League, which has been suspended since December due to financial issues — were also discussed.
A number of ideas were floated on how fixtures across all the lower levels can be completed.