League Management Company (LMC) the body which runs the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) has reached an agreement with Club owners of the participating clubs of the 2018 season of the NPFL as regards the season which have been truncated by the FIFA World Cup and the NFF leadership crisis.
Rising from a meeting on Thursday night in Abuja attended by all stakeholders of the NPFL, decisions were reached in order to beat the deadline ordered by CAF for continental representatives from member nations.
It was decided that league leaders, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, will be crowned champions as the league will be discontinued with a fresh 2018/2019 season to run from November 2018 to May 2019 after 16 voted in the favour of ending the league. This was done to meet the Confederation of African Football (CAF) October 15 deadline for the submission of country representatives for the 2018/2019 continental club tournaments.
Lobi Stars will now represent Nigeria in the CAF Champions League, while the Aiteo Cup champions will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup.
It was also decided that no team will be relegated and with four teams gaining promotion from the Nigeria National League (NNL), there will be an abridged league season of two groups of 12 teams with outright champions to be determined by a Super 4 tournament. Six teams will be relegated next season with only two gaining promotion so that the 2019/2020 season will return to a 20-team league.
The NPFL has been on break since July 13, in what should have been a month long break for the FIFA World Cup but the protracted leadership tussle in the NFF meant it wasn’t resumed for almost two extra months.
Lobi Stars who lead the NPFL table on Matchday 24 will be champions for the first time ever and bottom placed Heartland FC will heave a sigh of relief.
These decisions will be effected as soon as the NFF executive committee ratifies it.