At last, LMC announces 2019/20 NPFL kick off, final dates

[FILE] Lobi Stars’ John Lazarus (left) battles with Joseph Osadiaye of Enyimba during their NPFL Super Six match at the Agege Stadium on Saturday. The competition continues at the same venue…today.


• Premier League begins November 3

At last, the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) has its kick off and ending dates. The country’s biggest football competition will now start next month and end in May next year, the organisers of the league, the League Management Company (LMC) have revealed.

The LMC yesterday announced that the league would kick off on November 3, 2019 in all 10 venues and end on May 31, 2020.According to the LMC, the dates were the outcome of a consultative meeting it had with heads of the “20 participating clubs in Abuja on Monday, during which its chairman, Shehu Dikko presented a comprehensive briefing to bring the clubs’ officials up to date on situations in the NPFL, especially, the commercial activities and more robust business plans that are being pursued to resolve the recent challenges faced by the league.”

It disclosed that the LMC “proposed two start date options of October 20 or October 27, 2019 to the clubs. However, after deliberations, the November 3 date was agreed.”

According to the LMC, at the meeting, the parties expressed their appreciation to the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare for supporting the league and also his commitment to the resolution of the challenges facing it.

“The clubs’ administrators also expressed solidarity with the LMC and stated their preparedness to contribute towards successful delivery of the business plan presented by the LMC.

“The clubs in applauding the LMC leadership and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), noted the positive effort and actual work that are being put in place to strengthen organised football in Nigeria amidst avoidable challenges and distractions

“The meeting also witnessed the drawing of fixtures for the 2019/2020 season.”With the league now to involve 20 teams, against the abridged format of 10 teams divided into two groups used last season, defending champions, Enyimba will host Nasarawa United on matchday one.
2018/2019 runners up, Kano Pillars will kick off their campaign at home to Rivers United, while Wikki Tourists will host Jigawa Golden Stars.

It will be a battle of two former champions in Jos, where Plateau United will entertain Lobi Stars, while Delta Force will host their South South neighbours, Akwa Starlets in Asaba.

Heartland of Owerri will be at home to MFM of Lagos at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, FC IfeanyiUbah will welcome newcomers Adamawa United to Nnewi, while Enugu Rangers and Sunshine Stars will tango at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium.Returning Warri Wolves will be at home to Akwa United, just as Abia Warriors and Katsina United will battle for their first three points in Umuahia.

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