NPFL kicks off Sunday, January 13
• Some fixtures put on hold
The 2019 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) kicks off on Sunday, January 13 in various centres.
This followed the conclusion of the Nigeria National League (NNL) playoff in Aba with four of the eight clubs gaining promotion to the NPFL.
The promoted clubs are Insurance of Benin, Remo Stars of Sagamu, Kada City and Gombe United.
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 promoted clubs from the NNL.
Following a mini-draw supervised by the LMC Chief Executive Officer, Honourable Nduka Irabor in Aba after the playoff, Insurance took slot 1, Remo Stars in 2 while Gombe United and Kada City are in 3 and 4 respectively.
The mini-draw thus pitched Wikki Tourists against Insurance, Rivers United and Remo Stars, Yobe Desert Stars and Gombe United and Go Round FC to play Kada City.
Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company (LMC) announced the decision of the league body to shift the matches, explaining that “the games involving the promoted clubs from the NNL are being shifted to give the clubs time to return to their respective bases and make adequate plans to play in the NPFL.”
“It’s only fair that the players be allowed time to recover from the rigours of the tournament they just participated in and they would join from Matchday 2 while a new date will be announced for the postponed fixtures,” added Abubakar.
The other postponed games are those between Lobi Stars and Katsina United and between Rangers International and Niger Tornadoes. While Lobi are playing in the CAF Champions League, Rangers are campaigning in the CAF Confederation Cup and both clubs are in action this weekend.
Below are the complete fixtures:
MATCHDAY 1 (GROUP A)
January 13, 2019
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 Stars
Enyimba vs MFM FC
MATCHDAY 1 (GROUP B)
January 13, 2019
Yobe Desert Stars vs Gombe United (pp)
Go Round vs Kada City (pp)
Nasarawa United vs Abia Warriors
Plateau United vs FC Ifeanyiubah
Kano Pillars vs Heartland
Akwa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors