By Sedara Philip
Stakeholders and followers of the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) have been offered assurances that fixtures would be played as scheduled except for those already disrupted by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) competition games that involved Rivers United.
The Nigerian representative in the CAF Confederation Cup exited the competition last Sunday at the quarter final stage after a 2-0 aggregate score against Young Africans of Tanzania. The Port Harcourt side, playing in Group B of the NPFL had some fixtures rescheduled to enable them have full focus on the continental ties.
“Our fixtures fidelity has been proven from the kickoff and we are working to accommodate Rivers United outstanding games to ensure the season is concluded with minimal blip”, noted Davidson Owumi, the Head of Operations of the Interim Management Committee (IMC).
He announced that MatchDay 17 will be played this weekend in both groups in line with the calendar and commended Rivers United for reaching the knockout stage of the competition.
“While we work around dates to reschedule outstanding matches of Rivers United, the weekend games will be played as scheduled in the two groups”, he reiterated, noting that “we won’t be distracted by incendiary comments or actions from any quarters”.
“Our desire is to see Nigerian clubs go all the way in the competition and this will naturally affect our fixtures just as it does elsewhere. All we need to do is to find acceptable dates that won’t unduly pile pressure on our representatives and that’s what we are going to do in the coming days”, Owumi explained.
He acknowledged that the last matches of Group B teams which includes Rivers United would be completed simultaneously on a date to be announced while matches of Group A sides will be played as scheduled in the calendar.
“After the MatchDay 17, Group B matches would be paused to allow Rivers United complete their backlog and we hope to accomplish this within the month”, the former Nigerian international told IMC Media.