ABUJA (AFP) – The new Nigerian football season will finally kick off next month, the country’s league body said late Monday, bringing to an end months of delay and wrangling over the start date.
“We will commence the new season by the weekend of February 23-25,” announced league chairman Nduka Irabor after a meeting with the 20 clubs in Abuja.
Last year’s runners-up Enyimba will host third-placed Bayelsa United in the opening match.
The new season has been delayed by a number of issues, including a stand-off between Irabor’s League Management Company (LMC) and club managers over the company’s running of the competition.
Irabor also disclosed that the traditional pre-season tournament, the Super Four, will be played between January 24 and January 28.
“We hope this tournament will help prepare our teams who will feature in international competitions this year,” he said.
Champions Kano Pillars and Enyimba will represent Nigeria in Africa’s top tier club competition, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
Bayelsa United will feature in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup.
Fourth-placed El Kanemi will complete the line-up for the Super Four.