NPFL Ends Abruptly, Lobi Stars Picked As Champions
Lobi Stars FC have been picked as champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League 2017/18 season.
Clubs had just played 24 matches out of a supposed 38 in a season for a 20-team home and away fixtures, before the league was put on hold ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Six weeks after Russia 2018, the league could not resume as it was further affected by the leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Football Federation.
Things started getting worse as CAF’s deadline of October 15 for all African countries to submit their club names for the Champions League and Confederation Cup was fast approaching, and it was obvious the Nigerian league would not have ended at the time. Also, the 2018 Federation Cup is yet to be concluded, making it extremely difficult for players to play both competitions within a short period of time.
As a result, club representatives and the League Management Company leadership met on Thursday, August 30th and resolved to end the on-going league season, with Lobi Stars who top the table on 43 points, emerging as champions.
They will therefore, represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League.
Winners of the Federation Cup will represent Nigeria in the Confederation Cup.
Other resolutions reached at the end of the meeting were that no team will be relegated this season, and next season will commence in November, 2018 and end in May 2019 with 24 teams after four clubs promoted from the Nigeria National League (NNL) join the top flight.
It was also decided that there would be an abridged league in the 2018/2019 NPFL season, 24 teams to be divided and both halves play 22 games each.
However, six teams will now relegate at the end of next season, while only two teams will be promoted from the NNL.
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