No plan to postpone NPFL kickoff, says Shehu Dikko

Chairman of League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, has said that the kickoff of the 2018-19 Nigeria Professional Football League (NFF) season will not suffer further delay, confirming that the topflight will start on January 13 as proposed by the NFF.

LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko

Originally, the 2018-19 NPFL season was scheduled to begin in December, 2018. But, following the failure of the Nigeria National League to hold a promotion playoffs — where four promoted teams were to be determined — the kickoff of the had to be pushed back.

January 13 was then proposed as the kickoff date of the NPFL. And after a meeting between the NFF and the NNL on December 27, the NFF instructed the NNL to begin their playoffs not later than January 3.

However, on Wednesday — a day before the NNL playoffs was due to start — there were signs the playoffs would not begin after all.

The NNL later confirmed that the playoffs would be delayed. The second-tier league body asked the NFF to move the playoffs to a later date, to allow the clubs time for adequate preparation.

The request, if granted, could potentially affect the NPFL calendar. But, Dikko assured that the league will start as scheduled.

“The NNL have made their plans. I think they want to start on the 5th, I guess, to finish on the 8th or 9th. Because of the holidays, they are giving the teams time to arrive. I think the 3rd or 4th. Everything around that end is being sorted,” Dikko said on Channels Sports.

“We will get it done and we can start the league. We have learnt our lessons from what happened, and see how we can avoid the mistakes going farther.”