July 30, (THEWILL) – A rescheduling of domestic football matches in Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the year’s edition of the Aiteo Cup final has been carried out by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in collaboration with the League Management Company (LMC).
The NPFL change will affect Matchday 38 schedule of games across the NPFL because the date of the Aiteo Cup final has been changed and is now billed to take place on Sunday August 8.
On the basis of this rescheduling, Matchday 38 games, the final round of matches in the league, earlier scheduled for that date will be played on Thursday, August 5, with all the designated top flight venues unchanged.
The cause of the rescheduling pertains to the August 8 deadline from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that mandated all Members Associations to submit the names of their representatives for next season’s inter-club competitions, which can only be done at the end of the season.
The switch in the dates will allow the NFF sufficient time between the final round of matches and the deadline to make sure the country’s inter-club representatives arrive at the CAF headquarters in time to beat the deadline.
However, new arrangements have to also be made to accommodate four Week 37 fixtures which were drawn before the latest rescheduling to accommodate the teams that were affected by the NFF move. This new arrangement takes into cognisance the need for the teams to be given sufficient time to meet up their home and away ties.
As a result, the games involving Aiteo Cup semi-finalists; Rivers United vs Lobi Stars, Nasarawa United vs Rangers, Enyimba vs Sunshine Stars have all been postponed for an extra twenty-four hours, till Monday August 2. In addition, Kano Pillars vs Wikki Tourists was also shifted for fair play.
The Men’s Aiteo Cup semi-finals fixtures will be played on Friday, July 30 and will see Nasarawa United face Sunshine Stars in Asaba, in one of the semi-finals while Rivers United will trade tackles with neighbours Bayelsa United in Lagos, in the other.
Meanwhile, in the NPFL, 2017 Aiteo Cup winners Akwa United are favourites to clinch their first league title when they host MFM FC in the league on Sunday while Nasarawa United, Enyimba and Kano Pillars will slug it out for the two continental places on the league table below Akwa in the standings.