Newly-appointed Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the League, Gbenga Elegbeleye, has disclosed that the long-awaited 2022/2023 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will commence in December this year.
The Nigerian topflight league has been on break since July, with the IMC inaugurated by the Sports Ministry to replace the League Management Company in October.
“I want to assure Nigerians that the 2022/2023 NPFL will start this year. We (IMC and representatives of 20 NPFL Clubs) have agreed on the date but we can’t tell the public without approval by the NFF,” Elegbeleye said to journalists in Abuja.
“Once the issue of club licensing and all the participating clubs present standard pitches good enough to be shown on television, the league will kick off. We have a number of sponsors already that will enable the league to be shown on TV.
“However, we still need to brief the NFF on sponsorship. What I can assure everyone is that this season’s league will be better than what we are used to,” Elegbeleye added.
It would be recalled that, last October, Gusau, inaugurated the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye as chairman, and veteran, Paul Bassey as Vice.
The Committee is expected to be in place for three months.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Committee inside the NFF Secretariat in Abuja, Gusau pinpointed the lack of television broadcasting as one of the major drawbacks of the elite Nigerian League.
“There is a lot of work to be done by this committee of eminent and respectable persons in Nigeria Football, people with the pedigree and real calibre to effect change.
“One of the changes must be to ensure that our League is back on television, and that there is a lot of integrity and credibility to the way and manner it is being administered.
“I have tremendous confidence in the chairman and members of the committee that they will justify the confidence reposed in them by the Government and people of Nigeria,” Gusau said.
Responding, Elegbeleye, a one-time Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), thanked the NFF President and his Board for the confidence they have proclaimed in the Committee, and assured that the IMC will do its best within the three months lifespan to put in place building blocks that a substantive team will improve on to rejuvenate, upgrade and upscale the NPFL.
“Definitely, we have a lot of problems in the League. We have problems of officiating, of lack of television and several other hiccups,” Elegbeleye, also a former vice chairman of the Youth and Sports Development Committee of the House of Representatives, said.
“Our job will be to do a lot to redress these within the short time we have, and we also appeal to the media to ensure credibility in their reporting of the League.”
The full membership list:
Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye – Chairman
Elder Paul Bassey – Vice Chairman
Prince Davidson Owumi – Head of Operations
Hon. Kunle Soname – Member
Mr. Daniel Amokachi – Member
Mr. Calvin Emeka Onwuka – Member
Mallam Aliyu Adamu – Member
Representative of Nigeria Police – Member
Barrister Danladi Ibrahim – Member
Mr. Mohammed Nasiru Sa’idu – Member
Barrister Poubeni Ogun – Member
Auwalu Baba Jada – Member
Mr. Olumide Bamiduro – Secretary
Dr. Ayo Abdulrahaman – Asst. Secretary.