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‘Let’s goal!’ FG okays football leagues restart

The Federal Government has approved the resumption of football leagues in Nigeria.

The coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, made this known on Thursday.

He, however, said matches will resume without spectators at the stadiums.

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The league was suspended indefinitely after match-day 25 in March, due to COVID-19.

“Restriction is removed on outdoor communal (non-contact)sports and use of recreational parks for supervised physical exercise and sporting leagues to resume with no fans in stadiums,” he said.

The Nigeria Football Federation had canceled the 2019/20 Nigeria Professional Football League season.

There would be no promotion to the top tier league from the Nigeria National League while no team from the NPFL would be relegated, the NFF added.

The federation stated that the clubs positions would be determined by Points Per Game. This would determine clubs that would represent the country in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

According to a statement by the NFF Media and Communications Department signed by Ademola Olajire, the PPG model will see Plateau United, Rivers United, and Enyimba represent Nigerian on the continent, while 2019 Aiteo Cup winners Kano Pillars will become Nigeria’s fourth representative on the continent.

“The league ends at current matchday 25 and the Points Per Game table will be used to rank the teams in order to ensure sporting merit and sporting fairness,” the statement read.

“The names of the top three clubs on the NPFL final PPG table as at match-day 25 shall be submitted to CAF to represent Nigeria in the 2020/21 CAF Inter-Club competitions (two slots for CAF Champions League and one Slot for CAF Confederation Cup).

“There will be no promotion to, or relegation from, NPFL for the 2019/2020 season. The NPFL 2020/21 season will start from September/October 2020 and end May 2021 subject to the full reopening of the country and the approval of the health authorities.”

The 2019/20 abridged NNL season, was declared null and void, while the yet-to-commence 2019/20 season of the Nigeria Women’s Football League and Nationwide League were aborted.

The leagues were tentatively scheduled to resume for September and October 2020.

According to the statement, all dates for the 2020/21season to start are subject to the directives of the Federal Government in line with COVID-19 protocols.

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