The League Management Company [LMC] has set January 13, 2019, as the new kickoff date for the 2018/2019 Nigerian Professional Football League [NPFL] season according to a letter sent to all NPFL clubs by Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar.
According to a calendar of events attached to Mr Abubakar’s letter, the 2018/2019 NPFL season will have 22 Match-Days and run from January to May.
The calendar which also outlines the timetable for the 2018/2019 Aiteo Cup shows that regular matches for the league season will end on 12 May 2019, after which qualifying teams will go into playoffs between 13 and 25 May 2019 to determine the League Champions.
The final of the Aiteo Cup comes up on 26 May 2019, just one day after the end of the League playoffs.
The new season will feature
April is set to be the most hectic month in the calendar with clubs expected to play five league matches and two Aiteo Cup fixtures in three weeks between the 3rd and 28th of April 2019.
League games would be suspended for the Presidential and National Assembly general elections on the 16th of February while the 2nd of March will also see action suspended for the Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.
The new timetable comes on the heels of a directive from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) tasking the LMC with ensuring that the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) kicks-off no later than 13 January 2019.
The new kick off date for the 2018/2019 NPFL season is the third such date proposed by the LMC and comes amidst a standoff between the NPFL and the second-tier Nigeria National League (NNL) over the number of teams to be promoted to the top tier with both leagues yet to resolve the impasse.