Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) chief operating officer, Mallam Salisu Abubakar has thrown more light on the decision to postpone some matches of the first weekend in the new season, as he says it was meant to allow newly promoted clubs have some rest.
The NPFL officials reckoned that all four promoted teams have been engaged in NNL Super-8 action since last weekend, and it was deemed fit to allow their players recover.
Consequently, instead of throwing the newly promoted teams into the fray from the word go, Abubakar says matches involving Bendel Insurance of Benin City, Kada City of Kaduna, Remo Stars of Ikenne and Gombe United of Gombe have been shifted to another date.
He, however, stressed that the 2019 NPFL season will kick-off as billed this Sunday, January 13 in various venues across the country.
Abubakar explained further that also postponed are fixtures involving the country’s representatives in continental club competitions, as Lobi Stars host Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the CAF Champions League and Enugu Rangers are away to Bantu FC of Lesotho in the CAF Confederation Cup this weekend.
During a draw supervised by League Management Company (LMC) chief executive officer, Honorable Nduka Irabor in Aba, Wikki Tourists popped up against Insurance, Rivers United versus Remo Stars, with Yobe Desert Stars to face Gombe United and Go Round FC to tango Kada City.
The other postponed games are Lobi Stars of Makurdi against Katsina United and Rangers International of Enugu versus Niger Tornadoes of Minna, which will all get new dates in the course of the season.
Abubakar expatiated: “The games involving the promoted clubs from the NNL are shifted to give the club’s time to return to their bases and make adequate plans to play in the NPFL.
“It’s only fair that the players be allowed to recover from the rigours of the tournament they just participated in.
“They would join from Match Day 2 while a new date will be announced for the postponed fixtures.”