The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Covid-19 pandemic has cleared the air on the statement doing the rounds that it has lifted the ban on sporting leagues in the country.
The Nigerian football circle had gone into a mild frenzy on Saturday when news emanated from Abuja that the PTF had now given the all clear for the leagues to resume without fans, at last.
However, the information was met with some ambiguity in the media as some claimed that the ban was actually still in place in spite of the document which ostensibly mentioned the restarting of “sporting leagues”.
The PTF has now clarified during their Press Briefing on Thursday that the ban on contact Sports (which Football is among) still subsist but that the PTF will continue to monitor situations with a view to further reviewing them as time goes on.
"Sorry it's not yet time for football" – @DrSaniAliyu (PTF on Covid19 co-ordinator) #NPFL #NNL pic.twitter.com/S4YLyVNBPl— Bakare (@Rabark) September 10, 2020
“In terms of Sports, yes I am a football fan (too) but sadly, we have not allowed contact Sports at the moment. So, we’ve only allowed non-contact Sports.
“Football is not included. So, all those football fans, sorry it’s not yet time but we are looking at this and we will continue relaxing when the time comes and it is safe to do so,” PTF Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu said on Thursday.
This clarification may affect the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and League Management Company (LMC)’s proposition of starting the 2020/21 league season by next month as such is dependent on government’s approval on lifting the ban on football.
www.aclsports.com learns that three of the twenty clubs in the elite division Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) have resumed pre-season preparations for the new season while many others are scheduled to start next week.