Clubs, IMC set to clash over NPFL format

In the latest twist to the protracted start of a new Nigeria Professional Football League season, NPFL clubs under the umbrella of ‘club owners’ have distanced themselves from the draw of an abridged league for the 2022/23 season scheduled for Wednesday in Abuja by the Interim Management Committee, The PUNCH reports.

Arising from their meeting on December 21, the IMC, in a circular dated December 22, had informed clubs of the draw schedule ahead of the incoming season.

“Be informed that the draws for the 2022/2023 abridged season of the Nigeria Professional Football League is scheduled to take place as follows: Date: 28th December 2022, Time: 12:00pm, Venue: Sandralia Hotel, Abuja,” the statement read in part.

However, Chairman of the NPFL club owners, Isaac Danladi, claimed it was not a representation of their agreement during the meeting, adding that 16 members of the clubs’ representatives voted for a straight league, while four voted for an abridged format.


“We have already said we cannot be part of the draw because what the IMC came out with is not a reflection of our decision at the meeting. When we met on Wednesday, they were rooting for an abridged league format.

“When we were proposing a straight league, there was an impasse, and it was agreed in the house that our positions will be forwarded to the NFF for further action so that we can come to a meeting point,” Danladi told The PUNCH.

He added, “The next day we received circulars that we should go for an abridged league saying that that draw will hold Dec 28. They never told us that there will be a draw on that day, what they did was they suggested whether the league could Dec 28, but we suggested January 8, 2023. For us to have suggested that, it means we are ready to play. So, we were expecting a straight league, only to get circulars for an abridged league.

“So, we have already written to our members, dissociating ourselves from that circular.”

Chairman of the IMC, Gbenga Elegbeleye, had maintained that the position of the IMC on the league remained unchanged, saying the body had been given the go-ahead by the NFF to adopt an abridged format.

“The league will start Jan 8, 2023 with draws for Dec 28 on 100 per cent abridged format, any club not ready might decide to leave.

“The NFF advised we should go for an abridged league.”