The four newly promoted sides, Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars, Kada City FC and Gombe United will not be part of the League’s kick off on Sunday, January 13, 2019.
This followed the conclusion of the Nigeria National League (NNL) Play-offs in Aba with four of the eight clubs gaining promotion to the NPFL just on Wednesday with the clubs not having enough time to return to their bases or match venues by Sunday.
Six opening day fixtures will not hold as Rangers and Lobi Stars will be playing in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup this weekend. Their games have been shifted.
Following a mini-draw supervised by the LMC Chief Executive Officer, Nduka Irabor in Aba after the play-offs, Insurance took slot 1, Remo Stars in 2 while Gombe United and Kada City were in 3 &4 respectively.
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.
Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company (LMC) announced the decision of the League body to shift the matches, explaining that, “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’s 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”, added Abubakar.
The other postponed games are those between Lobi Stars and Katsina United and between Rangers International and Niger Tornadoes. While Lobi are playing in the CAF Champions League, Rangers are campaigning in the CAF Confederation Cup and both clubs are in action this weekend.
Below are the complete fixtures.
MATCHDAY 1 (GROUP A)
Wikki Tourists vs Insurance (pp)
Rivers United vs Remo Stars (pp)
Rangers Int’l vs Niger Tornadoes (pp)
Lobi Stars vs Katsina United (pp)
Kwara United vs Sunshine Stars
Enyimba vs MFM FC
MATCHDAY 1 (GROUP B)
January 13, 2019
Yobe Desert Stars vs Gombe United (pp)
Go Round vs Kada City (pp)
Nasarawa United vs Abia Warriors
Plateau United vs FC Ifeanyiubah
Kano Pillars vs Heartland
Akwa United vs El-Kanemi Warriors