By Wofuru Peter
It is true that many football lovers in the country are waiting for the restart of the NPFL. Some players whose teams were not in a secured zone before the league was suspended as a result of the novel Covid 19 pandemic in March are sounding very optimistic that their team will survive and retain a place in the topflight next season. Teams like Adamawa United, Nasarawa United, Jigawa Golden Stars and Kwara united were all struggling in the league.
But in an exclusive interview with News men, Kwara united defender Muoghara Dede believes that his team will not relegate no matter what happens or any option chosen by the League Management Company to end the season. “If they want to continue the league fine, but what I know is that we are not going down. But if they say that the season would end and no team relegates, is also fine. The conclusion of the all matter is that any option chosen will favour Kwara united”. He said.
The former Ikorodu United defender also stated that the four options made available by LMC chairman should be considered critically, but he would prefer the league to restart and be completed. ” I would like them to continue the league so that every team would fight and those who survived would be proud of themselves and those who couldn’t would go and prepare for life in the lower division”. He said.
We could recall that last month that the LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, proposed four possible options to end the Nigeria Professional Football League season following its suspension since March owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dikko said, “I can tell you that we already have our plans. At the last virtual meetings, we discussed several plans and our options.
“As we speak, we have four options on the table. And those options are being discussed at the highest level. Even last week, we had a lot of deep conversation with the government, the NFF President, and everyone concerned, evaluating the options.
“The first option that was looked at is the possibility of resuming the league normally. Can we play home and away, finish the remaining 13 games in the season? But it’s a long shot based on what is happening, because even if the country reopens, we are not sure we are going to have the chance for inter-state travels. We are also considering the health of the players and everybody involved.”
He added, “The second option is to look at the possibility of moving the teams to a particular state where we have three stadiums that are not more than two hours within themselves, so we can all stay there for about six to seven weeks and finish the remaining matches at a neutral venue.
“But it is also another long shot because the teams have to move there and be quarantined, we are also considering the financial demands on the clubs.
“For option three, based on the time available, we can just end the league as it is today and then we adjust the table, using the point-per-game system so that we can adjust the teams that have outstanding games and bring all the teams at per. Then we can go on and do a play-off of maybe Super 6, which will determine the champions and the clubs that will go on the continent.
“The play-offs will now be in one venue with six teams, which makes it easier to control and will be completed within 10 days.
“The last option is, if the country can’t open and the government won’t allow football activities to continue, to end the league as it is today and do the adjustment of the table by using the point-per-game system to bring all the teams at par so that sporting merit and fairness can be obtained and three or four teams will represent Nigeria on the continent, depending on what the NFF decides.”
Dikko, however, concluded that the play-offs option seemed the most realistic amongst the others.