NPFL season on brink of abrupt end
For the second season running, the Nigeria Professional Football League campaign could end prematurely, 234football has gathered.
The season was due to end in July, but it has now emerged that the League Management Company is planning talks on how to curtail it, after CAF informed federation members that they have until June 30 to submit names of representatives for inter-club competitions.
All 20 clubs and the LMC are due to meet on Thursday to deliberate on how to decide the current campaign.
“This is to invite you to a Consultative Meeting between the NPFL clubs and the LMC on Thursday 6th May 2021 in Abuja,” the LMC wrote in a letter sent to all NPFL clubs.
The 2019-20 NPFL season ended unceremoniously due to the Covid-19 outbreak, so should the LMC and NPFL clubs elect to end the 2020/21 season prematurely during their meeting on Thursday, it would mean the league body failed to hold a full campaign in two consecutive seasons.
Last season’s positions were determined based on the points-per-game (PPG) principle.
Enyimba, who had played fewer games than the other top-two challengers at the time — including Rivers United, Lobi Stars and Enugu Rangers — due to their involvement in the Confederation Cup, profited hugely from the rule.
Following the adoption of PPG, the Aba side moved from fifth to second in the table and earned a CAF Champions League spot. That didn’t go down well with the other top-two challengers.
The current campaign went on a mid-season break on April 4 and action was due to return on April 18.
But with Enyimba having four matches in hand as of the time the league embarked on a break, a number of clubs in the division, out of fears that last season’s scenario could play out again, reportedly asked the LMC to rearrange the Aba club’s outstanding games before the start of the season’s second half. Enyimba did play one of those outstanding games on Sunday — away to Rivers United — and are set to play Ifeanyi Ubah on Wednesday.
After facing the Nnewi side, Fatai Osho’s men will travel to Enugu Rangers on May 9 before returning home for a clash with Lobi Stars three days later.
On May 15, the eight-time Nigeria champions will return to the Confederation Cup to play Egyptian side Pyramids in a quarter-final fixture.