Rangers, Nasarawa United gear up for NPFL 2020/21

Ahead the 2020/21 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), indications are that the Clubs are determined to substantially comply with the provisions of the Club Licensing Requirements.

The League Management Company (LMC) had on August 6 sent a memo to all the 20 clubs with the Confederation of African Football (CAF)/ Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Licensing requirements.

The LMC had while noting that the Federal Government was yet to lift the ban on football activities as a result of the COVID 19 Pandemic, urged the clubs to begin to put in place those requirements that can be achieved within the ambit of the relaxation of the lockdown.

A number of the Clubs’ leaders who spoke to www.npfl.ng affirmed that they are already working to meet the requirements especially in the area of stadium facilities, safety, security, medical, technical and financial.

Amobi Ezeaku, the Team Manager of Rangers International, lamented the negative impact of the global pandemic on the club’s preseason program but noted that the club has made appreciable progress in getting certifications from health, security, safety and environment agencies.

Isaac Danladi, the Chairman of Nasarawa United also rued the effects of the pandemic on the overall health of football activities and declared that by way of complying with Licensing requirements, the club is in good stead.

Sources at Plateau United and Kano Pillars told npfl.ng that their respective state governments have made funds available for upgrade of facilities and meeting other financial obligations.

Assessing the impact of the pandemic on Rangers activities, Ezeaku said, “it has really twisted our preseason plans. It has been difficult, from the loss of our player in a fatal accident to having players individually train at home.

“In as much as the Technical Crew gave the players daily programs, we understand the importance of bonding together as a team and the gains of such. We hope that soon the green light for the players to return would be given, the tests conducted and normalcy returned”.

Nasarawa United Chairman, Danladi also spoke of the challenges the club has been facing due to the pandemic, and noted that, “the crises has greatly affected our preseason arrangements basically in the area of physical training and football activities which have been suspended by the NFF and the Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on the pandemic.

“However in the area of other preparations such as administration and day to day running of the club, it is work in progress. Management and the technical crew have been working assiduously to ensure effective and efficient preparation for the forthcoming 2020/2021 NPFL season. In a nutshell, aside from our inability to resume on the field training, we are planning slowly, quietly but surely preparatory to the new season”

Ezeaku was more specific on the efforts Rangers made to meet Licensing requirements. In his words, “Rangers has always been at the forefront of ensuring that Club Licensing requirements are met. Already we have called upon the Fire Service for inspections and recommendations as well as being issued a fire safety certificate.

“We have also made contact with the State Police Command for Security analysis and review and issuance of Police Safety Certificate. Same has been done with the Enugu State Waste Management Authority and the State Emergency Management Agency”, a confident Ezeaku revealed to www.npfl.ng

On his part, Danladi revealed that two committees set up to provide a roadmap to meeting various aspects of Licensing requirements have submitted their reports.

“Nasarawa United has made appreciable efforts in ensuring that we meet the club licensing requirements in line with CAF, NFF and LMC regulations. As a bold step towards this objective, the Club Management recently set up two very important committees, namely, Finance/ Budget proposal committee and Club Licensing Regulations committee.

“The committees have submitted their reports and same have been summarized and forwarded to Government for further necessary action with great expectations”.

Danladi also said that on the aspect of medical requirements, the club have since acquired an ambulance fitted with state of the art medical facilities.

In Enugu, Rangers are not letting anything to chance in complying with medical requirements. Ezeaku, the Team Manager disclosed that the camp of the club has already undergone phases of decontamination, adding, “once the players are back the necessary medical tests would be carried out with reports submitted to the appropriate authorities”.

Rangers, he disclosed, have endured that the playing surface and other stadium infrastructure are also being maintained and decontaminated from time to time in anticipation of resumption.

Ezeaku said the club has received the assurances of the funders, the Enugu State government on provision of the financial guarantees through a Letter of Financial Guarantee that would be submitted at the appropriate time.