Finally, the Nigeria National League (NNL) 2013/2014 season will commence tomorrow with mouth-watery matches holding at different stadia across the country including the Star Match of the week between Jigawa Golden Stars and Wikki Tourists in Dutse.
The 32-team Second Division league was earlier scheduled to start on January 25, 2014 but had to be shifted to tomorrow, Saturday, February 15 at the instance of the teams following a strong appeal to the NNL by the participating clubs that they will not be able to shoulder the huge financial burden involved in the payment of match indemnities to the officiating officials.
They therefore appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) through the NNL to come to their help by taking over the payment of match indemnities to the officiating officials to reduce the incident of undue influence on the referees and prevent mass withdrawal from the league as was witnessed last year
But the NNL Chairman, High Chief Emeka Inyama said yesterday in Abuja that the national league will start tomorrow throughout the country, pointing out that logistics have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free league season.
According to him, “the February 15 (tomorrow) new kick off date is sacrosanct and we have no intention to postpone it the second tome. I want to assure that the management has the full backing of the NFF to kick start the league tomorrow”.
Inyama who is also an Executive Board Member and Chairman, Media Sub-Committee of the NFF, disclosed that NNL is on top of the vexed issue of match indemnities to officiating match officials and declared that there is no cause for alarm.
Meanwhile, the NNL boss has wished all the participating teams a very successful season ahead even as he assured that there will be an improved management of the league this time around to give all the teams a level playing field to achieve their set goals.
FEBRUARY 15 SEASON OPENER FIXTURES
Jigawa Golden Stars, Dutse vs Wikki Tourists FC, Bauchi …Star Match
Nigerian Prisons FC, Abuja vs Kwara United, Ilorin
FRSC, Abuja vs Ranchers Bees, Kaduna
DSS, Kaduna vs TEAP FC, Abuja
Mighty Jets, Jos vs Spotlights FC, Katsina
Sokoto United vs Plateau United, Jos
Kogi United, Lokoja vs Adamawa United, Yola
Niger Tornadors, Minna vs Supreme Court, Abuja
C.O.D, Lagos vs Gabros FC, Nnewi
Union Bank, Lagos vs Caanan City FC, Calabar
Unicem, Calabar vs MFM lntl., Lagos
Akwa Starlets, Uyo vs Gateway FC, Abeokuta
ABS FC, Ilorin vs Abia Comets FC, Aba
Go Round FC vs Prime FC, Oyo
Bendel Insurance FC vs First Bank FC, Lagos
Remo Stars FC, Ogun vs Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), Ibadan