The new Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) season will start on January 14, 2018 and end on September 30, 2018 according to the league’s custodian, the League Management Company (LMC).
The 2017/18 NPFL season schedule was contained in a press release from the LMC.
According to the LMC, the ongoing club licensing that kickstarted the new calendar will enter the next stage with the yearly NPFL Pre-season tournament billed for December 11-17, 2017. In addition, January 5, 2018 has also been announced as the final date for submission of Club Licensing documentation by participating clubs.
Other activities lined up include the induction and orientation workshop for the four newly promoted clubs scheduled for December 14 and the LMC Pre- Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Consultative Meeting with participating Clubs on December 16 in Kano, the venue of the pre-season tournament.
According to the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, other activities in December include “the draws for the new season, pre-season seminar and spot checking on Clubs compliance to licensing regulations, payment of players and officials salaries, status of facilities, etc.”
The statement read: “January 5 is the cut-off date for compliance with redemption and settlement of any outstanding payment of salaries arising from 2016/2017 NPFL Season to players and coaches; and or provision of an acceptable Financial Guarantee to guarantee the overdue payments and a tentative payment plan from the Club proprietors.”
“Another highlight of the calendar comes up on January 8, 2018 when the LMC, which is First Instance Body (FIB) will issue the NFF Club Licensing Certificate to qualified clubs that meet the criteria for participation in the 2017/2018 NPFL Season.
“The 2017/18 season will start at all centers on January 14 and in the first stanza, there will be thre midweek matches on match days 2, 4 and 5 while the midseason break will be from April 30- May 5 and a longer break for the FIFA World Cup from June 14-July 15. Resumption from the World Cup break will be on July 18 with match day 25 which will be the first of another three midweek matches in the second stanza. The other two midweek fixtures will be on match day 27 and 29”, continued Abubakar in giving a breakdown of the calendar.
“The LMC assured that it took into consideration all scheduled fixtures of the AITEO Cup, CAF Club competitions and the FIFA World Cup in planning the calendar noting that “this is part of the reason we delayed the release of the fixtures and barring any unforeseen events, we definitely will conclude the season on September 30, 2018.” the statement further said.