Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have voted unanimously to end the 2019/2020 season, while also agreeing for Plateau United, Enyimba and Rivers United to represent the country in next year’s continental competitions.
The 2019/2020 season has been brought to a halt because of the prevailing circumstances, that is the Covid-19 Pandemic, which has ravaged all parts of the world,” announced chairman of the club owners Isaac Danladi.
We had four options to work with since the league was suspended because of the pandemic, but in the end the viable options were reduced to two.
The first option was to stop the league and calculate the points per game, which is the standard practice because not all the teams have played the same number of games before the competition was suspended.
The top three teams after this will then represent Nigeria on the continent next year, while there will be no relegation, no promotion.
The second option was to calculate the PPG and go for a playoffs involving the top six on a neutral venue and the first three teams will represent Nigeria in Africa.
Also in this case, there will be no relegation, no promotion.
At the end of it all, 17 of the 20 teams opted to stop the league, two abstained and a third chose the second option with some amendments.
He added: “Based on this majority decision, we have communicated our decision to the League Management Company (LMC) for onward transmission to the NFF for final confirmation.”
Akwa United and Lobi Stars were the clubs who abstained, while Enugu Rangers voted for the second option of playoffs.
Plateau United finished top of the standings based on the PPG (1.96 PPG, 25 matches) and they along with Enyimba (1.80 PPG, 20 matches) will represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League, while third-placed Rivers United (1.80 PPG, 25 matches) will feature in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The club owners chairman, who is also chairman of NPFL club Nasarawa United, said it was “too early” to fix a date for the kick-off of the new season.
Two years ago, the NPFL was also ended with 15 rounds of matches still to be played so that the country could beat the deadline set by CAF for the submission of clubs for continental competitions.