The new league season kicks off in February.
The League Management Company (LMC) has directed clubs in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to employ the services of certified medical practitioners before the 2013/2014 season begins in February.
The LMC Chairman, Nduka Irabor, gave the directive in his opening remarks at the league’s Pre-Season Medical Seminar held at the Media Centre of the Abuja National Stadium.
He said the LMC would not register any club which did not have either a certified medical doctor, a physiotherapist or a nurse in the team.
“If the clubs do not meet the medical requirements of the league, they will not be given the licence to participate in the forthcoming season.
“If it is only four clubs that meet the medical requirements before the commencement of the league, only the four clubs will participate.
“Because there are no rules which said league clubs must be up to 20 before the league can commence,’’ Irabor said.
The LMC chairman urged the medical officers to ensure there was a fitness test for all the players in the clubs to ensure they were medically fit for the season.
Speaking also at the occasion, Abdulkadir Mu’azu, the Chairman, Nigeria Football Association (NFA) Medical Committee, explained the reason for the seminar.
He said the seminar was meant to bring together all medical practitioners taking care of players in the league.
Mu’azu said the seminar was to educate them on the basic principles and aspect of football medicine, and on the need to pay attention to the players’ medical needs.
“These are the very important aspect of preventing injury, issues that have to do with drugs and those other aspects that can help to enhance performance of players.
“This is because the focus by FIFA and CAF is now on ensuring that we pay attention to the health and welfare of players.
“Because, without the players being healthy and fit, they cannot play football.
“So, even though it is the clubs that have invited the players and if these players do not receive the proper medical attention, you will find out that they cannot get the best out of these players,’’ he said.
Mu’azu, however, tasked the league clubs on ensuring that the medical requirements by the LMC were met for the sake of the players’ welfare.