NPFL: Football Return Excites Anaemena (AUDIO)

Rivers United defender Ifeanyi Anaemena is excited following the lifting of the ban on contact sports, which includes football, in Nigeria.

Last week, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 announced the return of contact sports in the country, bringing to an end seven months of inactivity on the domestic football scene due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Anaemena and other Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) players last saw action on 18 March before the 2019/20 season was aborted a couple of months ago.

In an exclusive interview with, the hard-tackling defender, who recently switched from Enyimba to Rivers United, also thanked the federal government for eventually lifting the ban on contact sports.

“I really have to thank the federal government, it’s a welcome development for them to have opened contact sports,” the 28-year-old said.

“Football has been our career; it’s a passionate career for us. Since, the lockdown of Covid-19, it hasn’t been easy that we have not been playing competitive football. Everything has been on standby.

“But with this good news of contact sports being opened, I believe that it will take us to the next level. And every fans that has missed football, family, well-wishers and friends, everybody that has missed football a lot in Nigeria will come together to celebrate and push ahead to the next level of football.

“So, it’s a welcome development and we appreciate it.”

Despite getting the all-clear to play competitive football in the country, it is still unclear when the 2020/2021 NPFL season will commence.

However, the Super Eagles invitee Anaemena is expected to help his new club Rivers United vie for honours in the CAF Confederation Cup, with the preliminary stages slated to kickoff on the weekend of 27 to 29 November, 2020, just over a month away.