Organisers of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL), the Interim Management Committee (IMC) has moved to assure “stakeholders and followers” of a timely ending to the 2022/2023 league season.
After the exit of Rivers United from the CAF Confederation Cup, the current league champions now have three outstanding matches excluding their Federation Cup fixture, a development which makes the May 14 ending of the league improbable.
The IMC has now assured that the fixtures will be protected whilst only those involving Rivers United will be affected.
IMC’s Head of Operations, Davidson Owumi says the body is working to ensure the prompt rearrangement of Rivers United’s outstanding fixtures while also reeling out the latest strategy by the league body in the fixtures scheduling.
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“Our fixtures fidelity has been proven from the kickoff and we are working to accommodate Rivers United outstanding games to ensure the season is concluded with minimal blip”, noted Davidson Owumi.
“While we work around dates to reschedule outstanding matches of Rivers United, the weekend games will be played as scheduled in the two groups.”
FIXTURES PROTECTED!— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) May 2, 2023
The IMC says they are fully on top of the situation despite an envisaged chaotic (fixture-wise) ending to the season.
IMC HOO, Davidson Owumi says Group A will conclude on 14th as scheduled but Group B will pause after MD17 this weekend. pic.twitter.com/KQfWw1E8Fz
The IMC announced that MatchDay 17 will be played this weekend in both groups in line with the calendar and commended Rivers United for reaching the knockout stage of the competition.
“Our desire is to see Nigerian clubs go all the way in the competition and this will naturally affect our fixtures just as it does elsewhere. All we need to do is to find acceptable dates that won’t unduly pile pressure on our representatives and that’s what we are going to do in the coming days,” Owumi explained.
He acknowledged that the last matches of Group B teams which includes Rivers United would be completed simultaneously on a date to be announced while matches of Group A sides will be played as scheduled in the calendar.
“After the MatchDay 17, Group B matches would be paused to allow Rivers United complete their backlog and we hope to accomplish this within the month.”
Bendel Insurance and Lobi Stars currently lead Groups A and B respectively with two matches to spare in the group stage.