The LMC said the season would be a full one.
The 2013/2014 Globacom Nigeria Premier League season will be a full season and not an abridged one, officials have told PREMIUM TIMES.
The new league season has now been scheduled to start on February 21, three months after it was supposed to have started in November 2013.
The resumption of the new league season was postponed for various reasons including the introduction of the club licensing regime and the on-going African Nations Championship CHAN in South Africa.
The late start of the season has prompted demands for an abridged league where the 20 Premier League clubs would be split into two groups of 10 each; and each team would only have to meet the other nine teams in each group (on home and away basis) and not the all the remaining 19 teams in the league.
The League Management Committee, LMC, has, however, stated that despite the late start, the league would not be abridged.
“We will play a straight league not an abridged league as speculated,” the Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar, told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Abubakar also explained that there was no law or directive from the world football governing body, FIFA, mandating leagues to be suspended during the World Cup in Brazil in June.
“The regulation didn’t say we must stop the league,” he said. “It states (that) for those players who are playing in the World Cup, all domestic competitions must finish by end of May to allow them for a rest period.”
The LMC official explained that the league would, however, be suspended during the World Cup.
“We will stop the league for the World Cup. Throughout the World Cup, we won’t play league,” he said.
Mr. Abubakar explained that the first round of league matches would be concluded before the World Cup, an indication that matches would be played both in mid-week and weekends.
“After the World Cup, we will continue and conclude the league in October,” he said.
The Chairman of the club owners association, Isaac Danladi, also confirmed that the league season would not be abridged.
“Although it was not mentioned at the last meeting, it will be a full league as usual,” Mr. Danladi told PREMIUM TIMES.
The official explained that the tight schedule players would be made to go through for a full league was not unusual, and clubs and their players would adjust accordingly.
Some club officials had earlier indicated their preference for an abridged league for the season.
Abia Warriors Coach, Emeka Ezeugo; CEO of Enugu Rangers, Paul Chibuzor; and Sharks FC General Manger, Okey Kpaluku had earlier indicated their support for an abridged league season.
Kano Pillars is the defending champion of the Nigeria Premier League.