Sports

COVID-19 Pandemic: NFF cancels 2019/20 NPFL, NNL, Aiteo Cup, other leagues’ season

•Adopts PPG for CAF Cup qualification

The Nigeria Football Federation on Friday, followed the resolution of the Nigeria Professional Football League Club Owners, as they decided to cancel the 2019/2020 football season across all tiers starting from the NPFL. In a resolution passed at an online meeting of the NFF Football Committee, after a holistic consideration of all the issues affecting the leagues (including the status of the leagues before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic), the impact of the pandemic-induced disruptions, the health, safety and movement restrictive measures in the country, the potential protocols for football resumption, the costs, the financial status of the leagues and clubs, CAF calendar and resolutions of the various leagues as conveyed to the NFF, approved to cancellation of all the leagues. For the NPFL, which was suspended after Matchday 25, the NFF Football Committee resolved to make use of the Points Per Game (PPG) table, which will be used to rank the teams in order to ensure sporting merit and sporting fairness.

It was also stated that the names of the Top three clubs on the NPFL final PPG table as at Matchday 25 shall be submitted to CAF to represent Nigeria in the 2020/2021 CAF Inter – Club competitions (two slots for CAF Champions League and 1 Slot for CAF Confederation Cup). With PPG, Plateau United currently at the top of the table will likely finish top with 49 points after 25 matches with PPG points of 1.96. The battle for the second position will be between Rivers United, currently in the second position and Enyimba as they will both finish with same PPG of 1.80, however, Enyimba played five games lesser than the Port Harcourt side.

It was also agreed that there will be no promotion to, or relegation from, NPFL for the 2019/2020 season. Other leagues canceled are the Nigeria National League, the Nigeria Women Football League, the Nationwide League One, and the Aiteo Cup. Winner of the last edition of the Aiteo Cup, Kano Pillars, will now take the second slot in the CAF Confederation Cup, joining either Rivers United or Enyimba. Meanwhile, it has been resolved that the new football season of all the leagues in the country 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.

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