The League Management Company (LMC), has announced January 14, 2018 as the official kick-off date for the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
The LMC also fixed January 5, 2018 as the final date for submission of club licensing documentation by clubs participating in the league.
In a statement released by the LMC on Thursday, the schedule of the new season’s activities will witness a flurry of activities including the induction and orientation workshop for the four newly-promoted NPFL clubs on December 14 and the LMC Annual General Meeting (AGM)/consultative meeting with NPFL-participating clubs on December 16 in Kano where the pre-season tournament will hold.
According to Salihu Abubakar, the LMC Chief Operating Officer, other activities scheduled for the month of December include “the draws for the new season, pre-season seminar and spot checking on Clubs compliance to licensing regulations, payment of players and officials salaries, status of facilities, etc.”
The statement read, “January 5 is the cut-off date for compliance with redemption and settlement of any outstanding payment of salaries arising from 2016/2017 NPFL Season to players and coaches; and or provision of an acceptable Financial Guarantee to guarantee the overdue payments and a tentative payment plan from the Club proprietors.”
Another highlight of the calendar according to the LMC comes up on January 8, 2018 when the LMC, which is First Instance Body (FIB) will issue the NFF Club Licensing Certificate to qualified clubs that meet the criteria for participation in the 2017/2018 NPFL Season.
“The 2017/18 season will start at all centres on January 14 and in the first stanza, there will be three midweek matches on match days 2, 4 and 5 while the midseason break will be from April 30 to May 5 and a longer break for the Fifa World Cup from June 14 to July 15.
“Resumption from the World Cup break will be on July 18 with match day 25 which will be the first of another three midweek matches in the second stanza. The other two midweek fixtures will be on matchdays 27 and 29,” continued Abubakar while giving a breakdown of the calendar.
He said other competitions such as Aiteo Cup, Caf Club competitions and the FIFA World Cup were considered in planning the calendar and “barring any unforeseen events, we definitely will conclude the season on September 30, 2018.”