The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) board has clarified that only the curtain raiser fixture in Ibadan will be held on the opening day of the 2023/24 season on September 9, www.aclsports.com reports.
Chairman of the NPFL, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye disclosed to the League Media outfit, the NPFL Media that the decision is consistent with the tradition established last season under the then Interim Management Committee (IMC).
It has been reported in many fora that all Match Day 1 Fixtures will hold on Saturday, September 9 but Elegbeleye says that is not so.
“Remember that last season opening day fixture was the match in Uyo between Akwa United and Bendel Insurance. The other nine fixtures were played the following weekend and it is one of the traditions we are bringing into the new league era,” clarified NPFL boss Elegbeleye who is now the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by virtue of the football statutes.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) will be hosting former champions, Plateau United at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Adamasingba, Ibadan on Saturday, September 9.
The former Parliamentarian also noted that the decision to have the match played on Saturday was also necessitated by the Super Eagles match on Sunday, September 10 in Uyo.
“Some of our clubs prefer playing their home matches on Sundays to attract a full house of fans and we cannot start from the first day to have scattered fixtures hence all other games apart from the curtain raiser have been moved to the following weekend,” he added.
In a related development, the match in Ibadan will be the first to be streamed on the new NPFLLive app on mobile phones and other devices.
Authorities of the Lekan Salami Stadium have completed the construction of camera stand with a safe staircase where the AI Camera crew and commentators will operate from.
Chairman of 3SC, Hon Babatunde Olaniyan revealed this in Abuja during the Annual General Meeting and Draw ceremony on Tuesday.
“We promised the broadcast team during their inspection visit that the camera stand staircase will be installed and our Governor approved funds for this because he wants the stadium to meet all requirements,” Olaniyan told NPFL Media
With the NPFL having clarified the furore surrounding the opening day fixtures, it now means that all other Match Day 1 matches excluding those involving Rivers United and Bendel Insurance will hold on September 17.