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Gusau backs IMC on abridged NPFL as clubs battle for N100m prize

NIGERIA Football Federation president Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau has commended the Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria Professional Football League for its efforts to improve the competition, following the conduct of the draw for the abridged season in Abuja yesterday.

At the draw ceremony held inside the press conference hall of the Sandralia Hotel, the 20 NPFL teams were split into two different groups in a special arrangement that will shorten the delayed season to four months.

“Let me state clearly that the NFF is satisfied with the efforts the IMC headed by Gbenga Elegbeleye has been making to rebrand and reposition the NPFL since its inauguration,” Gusau, who was represented by NFF’s Director of Communications Ademola Olajire, said

“The NFF commends the IMC Chairman and all his members for the highly successful pre-season tournament held earlier in the month, and also for the actualisation of this draw ceremony.

“The commitment to engineer changes that will deliver a vibrant Nigerian league and a viable football economy in the country remains as firm as ever. The NFF will continue to provide the necessary support to the IMC to fulfill its terms of reference in flying colours.”

Chairman of the IMC Gbenga Elegbeleye revealed that the organisers have secured a sponsor to foot the indemnities of match officials for the next three years, with the payments to be done directly from the company to the appointed match officials.

“We are committed to eradicating the malaise of indebtedness to match officials, which compromises them and lowers their morale to do the right thing,” he said.

“The IMC has also increased the winners’ prize for the season to the sum of N100 million, which is a hundred percent increase on what was in place previously.”

In the opening match of the season on January 8, Enyimba will be guests of Nasarawa United in Lafia in Group A, while champions Rivers United will host Lobi Stars in Group B among other clashes.

OPENING FIXTURES

GROUP A
Nasarawa United vs Enyimba FC
Akwa United vs Bendel Insurance
Plateau United vs Shooting Stars
Kwara United vs Gombe United
Remo Stars vs El-Kanemi Warriors

GROUP B
Bayelsa United vs Dakkada FC
Wikki Tourists vs Niger Tornadoes
Doma United vs Sunshine Stars
Rivers United vs Lobi Stars
Rangers Int’l vs Abia Warriors

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