The 2022/2023 NPFL will be played in eight stadiums – IMC Boss

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By Bassey Ibiatisuho

The Vice Chairman of the newly inaugurated Interim Management Committee – IMC of the Nigeria Professional Football League, Elder Paul Bassey has hinted at the possibility of starting the 2022-23 football season with eight stadiums in the country which have met the required standard.

In an interview in Uyo, the state capital of Akwa Ibom, Brother Bassey explained that the challenges facing the league are enormous and will require serious work and tough decisions to revive the league.

“Coming in as IMC, we have discovered that there is a lot of work to be done at a very short notice in order to organize better league football next season. We need all the prayers we can get to succeed Nigerians are in such a hurry to get the league started we need a league sponsor the Minister of Sports wants the league on TV the President of the NFF wants the league on TV there has contracts that remain, we don’t have the details, no proper review has been done. We have the case of the commission of referees that must be reconstituted, we have the case of the stadiums that you have to bend over.

On October 17, the Confederation of African Football published the names of eight stadiums approved to host CAF interclub competitions in Nigeria.

The eight stadiums include Enyimba Stadium, Aba; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; Adokiye Amesiemaka International Stadium, Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom International Stadium, Uyo.

Others are, Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos; Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin and Remo Stars Stadium, Ikenne, Ogun State.

According to the CAF/FIFA Match Commissioner, as the IMC works to ensure the league returns to television, clubs need to upgrade their match venues as the committee will only approve stadiums with all requirements while others may have to choose their match. sites among the eight approved which must comply with CAF standards.

“If we are successful we cannot play in the professional football league at more than eight venues because it is a tragedy that you can come out second in the league but cannot play at home in CAF competitions. Why should the IMC allow clubs to play league matches in venues when ultimately CAF will not approve the staging of continental matches?

“I think we should do it right and give clubs the opportunity to bring their stadiums up to standard. If tomorrow we make a decision on this because we haven’t decided yet, it’s a matter of telling the twenty teams, choose your field from among the few approved.

IMC vice-chairman, who is also NPFL chairman Akwa United, says there are also plans to create an abbreviated league whose champions will emerge in the Super Six play-offs to harmonize the schedule of Nigerian football with the other major leagues in the world.