IMC Calls Off Club Owners Bluff By Staging Draw For Abridged NPFL Season
The IMC headed by Gbenga Elegbeleye has stucked to its guns and called off the bluff of so-called Club Owners by staging a draw today (PICTURED) for an abridged NPFL season that will kick off January 8, 2023.
The league organisers have split the 20 clubs into two divisions of 10 teams each.
The top three teams from each division will qualify for a Super 6 that will decide the NPFL champions, who will pocket a prize money of 100 Million Naira.
The 20 clubs will be paid 10 Million Naira as start-up grant by the IMC.
NFF President Ibrahim Gusau praised the IMC for efforts to rebrand and reposition the NPFL and promised full support for the league organisers to meet expectations.
Sports Minister Sunday Dare was also represented at the draw in Abuja.
This comes as the Club Owners, who are not known to the NFF Statutes, stayed away from the draw and instead put up a proposed fixtures list to cover a full season to counter the abridged competition proposed by the IMC.
The clubs proposal was a very congested schedule and will see the season end on July 16, 2023, but it failed to take into consideration the Federation Cup and the continental engagement of champions Rivers United, who are in the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup.
Top officials have berated the Club Owners of trying to be both participants as well as organisers of the domestic league.
The Club Owners, who held the defunct LMC hostage, did not co-operate with the IMC in the club licensing as well as venue inspection to cause delays for an earlier kick-off of the league.
Allegations are also rife that some of the Club Owners demanded that 2.5 Million Naira from a 10 Million Naira grant for each team be paid into their various personal accounts.
The IMC refused this request.
In the meantime, Rivers United will open their title defence on the opening day of the season at home against Lobi Stars.
MATCHDAY 1 (A)
Nasarawa United Vs Enyimba FC
Akwa United Vs Bendel Insurance
Plateau United Vs Shooting Stars
Kwara United Vs Gombe United
Remo Stars Vs El-Kanemi Warriors
MATCHDAY 1 (B)
Bayelsa United Vs Dakkada FC
Wikki Tourists Vs Niger Tornadoes
Doma United Vs Sunshine Stars
Rivers United Vs Lobi Stars
Rangers Int’l Vs Abia Warriors