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LMC insists on Jan 13 kick off date for NPFL

Emeka Ogbugh (26) of Rivers United and Usman Barau (4) of Katsina United fight for the ball during their match in the 2017-2018 league season

The League Management Company (LMC) says the proposed January 13 kick-off date of 2018/2019 Nigeria Professional Football League will stand, even as the NNL Super 8 will now hold in Aba on January 5 and end January 8.

The new season has been postponed twice before the new January 13 date was fixed and the new date was under threat due to the disagreement between the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and eight NNL teams who are expected to participate in the Super 8 billed for the commercial city of Aba.

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The Nigeria Football Federation second Vice President, Alhaji Shehu Dikko said all plans are in place for the Super 8 to be concluded before the kick-off date of the new NPFL season.

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“The NNL have made their plans. I think they want to start on the 5th, I guess, to finish on the 8th or 9th of January, Because of the holidays they are giving the teams time to arrive between 3rd or 4th.

“We will get it done so we can start the league. We have learnt our lessons from what happened,” Dikko said.

He explained that the decision to pick Lobi Stars as the country’s representatives in this season’s CAF Champions League has paid off, after the Pride of Benue qualified for the lucrative group stage of the competition.

“Already the decision to put Lobi on the continent has paid off. They have qualified for the group stage (of CAF Champions League) meaning the decision has worked. If it didn’t work, we would have taken the flak as well. Rangers as well are on the verge of qualifying for the (CAF Confederation Cup) group stage, God willing,” he added.

The LMC boss concluded that all hands on the deck and the league management are not leaving any stone unturned to make sure the Nigeria football league returns to the glorious days.

“Everything is coming back to normal. We have learnt our lessons and must go forward. There are a lot of things that need to be done, to get the league better. We need to focus on those issues. Everything will turn out as planned and at the end of the day.”

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