The Nigerian Professional Football League will kick off on Sunday following the conclusion of the eight team playoff showpiece in Aba. However opening matches involving newly promoted side Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars, Kada city and Gombe united have been postponed.
Bendel Insurance and Remos Stars came first and second in the Southern zone of the play-off held at the Enyimba Stadium, Aba, while Kada Stars and Gombe United picked the ticket from the Northern zone.
Ibadan-based 3SC, Delta Force, Kogi United and Real Stars of Kaduna failed to qualify for the elite division.
At the draws held inside the Aba Stadium immediately after the promoted teams were confirmed, the League Management Company (LMC) gave reasons why their matches were moved forward, stressing that some of them where involved in the country’s representatives in CAF Club competitions and others would feature the four newly promoted clubs from the NNL.
Insurance took slot 1, Remo Stars in 2, while Gombe United and Kada City were in 3 and 4 respectively at the mini-draw supervised by the LMC Chief Executive Officer, Nduka Irabor,
The mini-draw thus pitched Wikki Tourists against Insurance, Rivers United and Remo Stars, Yobe Desert Stars and Gombe United and Go Round FC to play Kada City.
In an interview following the draws, the LMC Chief Operating Officer Abubakar Salihu said: “the games involving the promoted clubs from the NNL are being shifted to give the club’s time to return to their respective bases and make adequate plans to play in the NPFL.
“It is only fair that the players be allowed time to recover from the rigours of the tournament they just participated in and they would join from Match Day 2, while a new date will be announced for the postponed fixtures.”
Other postponed fixtures includes fixtures between Lobi stars vs Kastina United as well as Rangers International vs Niger Tornadoes. This is due to the involvement of Lobi stars in the CAF Champions league as well as Rangers in the CAF Confederations cup.