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Football | Nigeria

Late NPL start draws fire



Former Gombe United coach, Bernard Ogbe has said it is an anomaly for the lower division leagues to commence ahead of the Premier League.

NNL is in its fifth week this weekend, the Nationwide League is running while the NPL is scheduled to kickoff on February 16. The cancellation of its draws slated to hold in Kano on January 13 has fuelled speculation of further postponement of the elite league.

Ogbe said he hopes the NPL will emerge from its crisis as the strongest league in the land.

"It's quite unusual for the lower leagues to start before the Premier League. But would it have been proper to hold them down until NPL gets its act right.

"If the February kickoff date for the league holds that means teams would be asked to play compulsorily weekend and mid-week.

"I only hope when the NPL crisis is done a stronger and competitive league will emerge where the domestic league will be streamlined to run side by side with the European leagues," said the former JUTH coach to supersport.com.

Ogbe approved the NPL League Management Committee's N50 million bond by clubs as good measure that will check the excesses of some clubs.

"It is a good measure and I hope teams will comply with the directive, at least, it will give some guarantee to players that somehow their welfare will be taken care of even if the clubs fail to adhere to the terms of contract," he said.

The former Niger Tornadoes' gaffer is however hopeful he will return to the bench during the mid-term.

"I'm available for any team that require my service. I understand there is no vacancy at the moment but the situation may change during the mid-term. Troubled teams may require a redeemer, I hope to return very soon," he said.

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