The League Management Company, LMC, on Thursday in Abuja said activities to kick-start the 2017/18 Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, season would enter the next stage on December 11.
Harry Iwuala, LMC’s Head of Special Projects, said in a statement that the new season has been slated to kick off on January 14 and end on September 30.
Mr. Iwuala said the pre-season activities would however continue with the annual NPFL pre-season tournament holding from December 11 to December 17.
He said the pre-season activities had begun with the on-going club licensing exercise in order to usher in the season’s opening matches on January 11.
“The schedule of the new season’s activities, which has been endorsed by LMC, has a flurry of activities lined up.
“This include the induction and orientation workshop for the four newly-admitted NPFL clubs on December 14 and the LMC Pre- Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Consultative Meeting with NPFL clubs on December 16 in Kano where the pre-season tournament will hold,” Mr. Iwuala said.
The statement also quoted Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer (COO), as listing the other activities scheduled for December to include the draws for the new season.
“Other activities are the pre-season seminar and spot-checking on clubs compliance to licensing regulations, payment of players and officials salaries, status of facilities, et cetera.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that LMC has also fixed January 5 as the final date for submission of club licensing documentation by clubs participating in the league.
“January 5 is the cut-off date for compliance with redemption and settlement of any outstanding payment of salaries arising from the 2016/2017 NPFL season to players and coaches.
“It will also have the provision of an acceptable `financial guarantee’ to guarantee the overdue payments and a tentative payment plan from the club proprietors,’’ the LMC had said in the statement on Thursday.
“Another highlight of our 2017/2018 calendar is on Jan. 8, when we, as the First Instance Body (FIB), will issue the NFF Club Licensing Certificate to qualified clubs.
“These are the clubs which meet the criteria for participation in the 2017/2018 NPFL season.’’
NAN reports that the 2017/2018 season will start at all designated venues on January 14 and in the first stanza, there will be three midweek matches, on Match Days 2, 4 and 5.
The mid-season break will be from April 30 to May 5 and a longer break for the FIFA World Cup from June 14 to July 15.
Resumption from the World Cup break will be on July 18 with Match Day 25, which will be the first of another three midweek matches in the second stanza.
The other two midweek fixtures will be on Match Days 27 and 29.