The Nigeria Professional Football League presently suspended due to the ravaging coronavirus pandemic will be completed within six to eight weeks once the suspension is lifted.
This was one of the key decisions reached at a meeting between the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, and the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
There are 13 rounds of matches left before the 2019-20 NPFL season was put on hold.
“The format to be adopted upon the resumption of football activities regarding the completion of the various Leagues and Cup competition will be determined by the time available, health and security guidelines, as well as decisions by global football authorities on football calendar and international competitions (CAF and FIFA),” a statement issued Friday by the NFF read in part.
It added: “The NFF has mandated the Leagues to work to ensure players, coaches and other employees’ salaries are protected and should liaise with club owners to ensure players are paid accordingly.”
The minister via video conference with NFF officials discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football in Nigeria and also firmed up strategies to mitigate the effect of the disruptions and protect the domestic football industry.
The minister informed the NFF team that in view of the coronavirus pandemic that has practically paralysed the sports industry, it is imperative to assess its impact on the domestic sports industry including football and consider strategies for charting a new course for football in the post-COVID-19 era.
He reiterated the need for NFF to keep all and sundry, including the government and private sector, duly informed on the steps being taken so they can consider interventions to protect the industry.
Some of the other discussions held between the minister and the NFF officials bordered on time to start the new football season as well as new formats to adopt when re-opening the leagues especially the NPFL and possible options to crown the champions.
The NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the NWFL Aisha Falode and NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi were all part of the meeting with the minister.