Eight Months After, 2018/2019 NPFL Action Begins On Sunday
It going to be a weekend of excitement to all lovers of football across the 36 states in the country as 2018/2019 NPFL action is expected to resume to the country on Sunday 13th January 2019.
All is now set for the commencement of the 2019 NPFL across match venues in Nigeria.
Though, after the Day-Match24 of the 2018 season, Lobi Star of Makurdi was declared the winner United in the NPFL by the League Management Company LMC courtesy of crisis that rocked the Nigeria Football Federation NFF
Activities to kick-start the NPFL top-flight had commenced with the orientation of the newly promoted clubs to the league which will begin Sunday’s January 13th 2019.
Indeed, fans have missed out on actions from their teams in the last eight months as a result of the inability on the part of league organizers LMC to turn things around within the period.
24 clubs are gear up for a new season and the anxious fans; league lovers cannot wait to see the commencement of the league.
In Abuja today, three NPFL sides, Nasarawa Utd and Plateau Utd and Kwara United camped in the FCT to perfect the strategies for the commencement of the league.
Fans, coaches, clubs owners can’t wait to see their darling teams in their different jersey as many said they can’t wait to see the beginning of 2018/2019 League Season in the country.
As for plateau United Head Coach Abdul Maikaba, who spoke to The Gleamer News expressed optimism revealed he cannot wait to see the league start: “In regards to the team this season, it is a new philosophy, new coach and some new players ahead as well, we certainly need time to get into a fusion, which did not get the opportunity to partake in any of the pre-season tournament that was held some time ago, which was part of our greatest undoing”.
“I believe we are pushing ourselves to make sure we are very ready to come Sunday for our first league match” the Plateau United gaffer concluded.
It will be recalled that on November 21st 2018 the draws for the 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League season was conducted at the halftime of the Super Cup between Lobi stars and Rangers International which ended 1-0 in favour of Lobi stars inside Stephen Keshi Stadium, in Asaba, Delta state.
Twenty teams were grouped in two different groups with four promoted teams in the NNL (Remo star, Kada city, Gombe United and Bendel Insurance expected to join the already twenty NPFL clubs to make it twenty-four after the super 8 tourneys in Aba, in Abia state.
2018/19 League season will be played on the abridged format as the teams will be selected to join either of the two abridged groups based on their location (North and South).
According to the fixtures made available to The Gleamer News by the Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar the NPFL kicks off date is scheduled for 13th January 2019 in an abridged league format.
However, some of the opening day matches would not hold as scheduled and are to be rescheduled for a later date. The postponed fixtures are those involving the country’s representatives in CAF Club competitions and those involving the four newly promoted clubs from the NNL.
The mini-draw supervised by the LMC Chief Executive Officer, Hon. Nduka Irabor in Aba, Abia state shortly after the playoffs, Insurance took slot 1, Remo Stars in 2 while Gombe United and Kada City were in 3 and 4 respectively.
The draw pitched Wikki Tourists against Insurance, Rivers United and Remo Stars, Yobe Desert Stars and Gombe United and Go Round FC to play Kada City.
The other postponed games are those between defending champion Lobi Stars and Katsina United and between 2018 AIETO Federation Cup winner Rangers International and Niger Tornadoes. As Lobi Star and Enugu Ranger are playing in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup respectively.
Below are the complete fixtures of Matchday 1
Wikki Tourists vs Insurance (pp)
Rivers United vs Remo Stars (pp)
Rangers Int’l vs Niger Tornadoes (pp)
Lobi Stars vs Katsina United (pp)
Kwara United vs Sunshine StarsE
Enyimbavs MFM FC
Yobe Desert Stars vs Gombe United (pp)
Go Round vs Kada City (pp)
Nasarawa United vs Abia Warriors
Plateau United vs FC Ifeanyi Ubah
Kano Pillars vs Heartland
Akwa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors