This Day (Lagos)

12 December 2012

Nigeria: NPL Season Kicks Off February 16

The uncertainty miring the kick off of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) season, has been addressed by club owners, who at the body's congress held Tuesday in Abuja, proposed February 16, 2013 as the date when league matches will begin across the nation.

The recommendation will, however, have to be ratified by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which begins Wednesday in Port Harcourt.

If the proposal is endorsed by the NFF Congress, the draws and pre season activities for the 2012/13 season, will be held in Kano at a yet to be determined date.

The season's league programme was one of the main items tied up by the NPL congress which was called to resolve the Shenanigans undermining the operation of the league body.

But the most far reaching decision taken by the club owners, who numbered 19, was in the dissolution of the NPL board after they set aside some of the articles in the NPL Statutes, specifying the procedure for convening a congress.

The dissolution gave a kneel-jack kick to the reign of Victor Rumson Baribote as the NPL Chairman and rendered of no consequence the pronouncement by six members of the NPL board on Monday, suspending Baribote and appointing Shehu Garba Gusau as the body's Acting Chairman.

Tuesday's congress was held under very tight security provided by a detachment of policemen and officials of State Security Services (SSS) stationed outside and inside the hotel venue to forestall breach of the law.

The Congress was conducted in defiance of an order by the sacked NPL board, which on Monday also set up a committee with a three-week time frame, to investigate the causes of the friction in the NPL.

The General Manager of Sunshine Stars of Akure, Mike Idoko, said that the club owners had save NFF from a major embarrassment as the NFF AGM would not be in position to ratify the league's season, if the Congress had been stalled.

Idoko said that the powers of the club chairmen superseded that of the board of the NPL, because they (club owners) were the owners of the clubs.

With Baribote's fate sealed, NPL secretary Tunji Babalola, will now supervise the activities of the NPL, pending the election a de facto chairman.

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