The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) has rescheduled all Matchday 18 fixtures initially slated for May 14, 2023, to another date, May 21, 2023.
This move became necessary to fix the differences between the two groups of the ongoing 2022/23 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) season.
Every team in Group A have played 17 matches and is ready for the last matchday. However, some teams still have outstanding games to play in the NPFL Group B. Those games had to happen before the penultimate games for all teams in the NPFL season.
NPFL: IMC reschedules all MatchDay 18 fixtures for May 21
The Interim Management Committee has directed that all MatchDay 18 games would now be played on Sunday, May 21. This decision was made “towards harmonising fixtures in the two NPFL Groups pic.twitter.com/iQ17ZhAsYb
— ExtraSportsNigeria (@ExtraSportsNG) May 11, 2023
In a letter informing the NPFL clubs of the fixture date rescheduling, the IMC noted that Federation Cup games of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) were another reason for the shift in the commencement of the Super Six Championship round.
Regretting the disruption to the schedule of games for the clubs, the IMC said it gave the league a window to harmonize the fixtures of the regular season's end matches.
Chairman of the (IMC), Honorable Gbenga Elegbeleye, clarified that the decision was to ensure that the regular season concludes on the same date before the commencement of the Super Six.
“The Matchday 18 fixtures in both Groups will have to be played on the same date and that would be after Rivers United have completed their outstanding matches by Thursday, May 18”, Elegbeleye told IMC Media early Thursday.
The remaining matches involving Rivers United are Matchday 12, 15 and 16. They have been scheduled for May 11, May 15 and May 18. The Matchday 12 rescheduled match for Rivers and Wikki Tourist was played on Thursday, ending 1-1.
The Pride of Rivers, whose fixtures were affected by their CAF Confederation Cup engagements, will play Sunshine Stars on Monday, May 15, in a rescheduled Matchday 15 bout and Doma United on Thursday, May 18. Both games will be in Port Harcourt.
— AfroSport (@AfroSportTV) May 12, 2023
Elegbeleye said: “The season-ending Super Six will be held in Lagos and we don’t want any Group to enjoy the advantage of an extended rest period after playing their last group games”.
However, the development has caused displeasure to the teams who will likely make the playoffs.
Affected clubs in Group A and B of the abridged 2022/23 Nigeria Professional Football League have expressed displeasure over the change in date for the Super Six playoffs by the Interim Management Committee of the league to just two days after the season ends.
The proposed schedule leaves potential top-three teams for the playoff in Groups A and B with only two days to make the trip to Lagos for the Super Six Championship round. This scenario becomes difficult for teams who will play the last game of the season away from home because of road travel and overall preparation for the Super Six.
NPFL clubs have urged the IMC to look into the situation and shift the commencement of the Super Six a little bit more so every club can participate properly.
This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago