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Players lament over NPFL shift

Nigeria Professional Football League clubs have resolved to organise more friendly games for their teams following the indefinite postponement of the 2023/24 season, which was scheduled to start on Saturday, September 9, The PUNCH reports.

The league suffered another postponement on Wednesday, with the league board citing exigencies around sponsorship as well as the Nigeria Football Federation annual general meeting for the decision.

However, the league body is yet to announce a new date for the commencement of the new NPFL season.

Despite the indefinite shift in date, it is impossible for clubs to embark on another break having resumed for pre-season about a month ago, as many of them are lining up more tune up games to keep their players in shape with the hope that a new date will be announced soon.

Media Officer of Sunshine Stars, Michael Akintunde, said, “We were preparing for what we thought would be our last friendly game against Kwara United on Wednesday when we got the news, but right now we have to look for at least local teams we can engage at home pending the time of a new date will be announced.”

In the same vein, four-time champions Kano Pillars, their northwest rivals Katsina United, Niger Tornadoes and Gombe United were quick to arrange a week-long pre-season tournament which will end on September 13.

While the clubs are trying to get busy, the players are, however, rue the league postponement.

Katsina United midfielder, Azeez Falolu, who has been looking forward to the start of the season, said his solace is the newly conceived pre-season tournament.

“I’ll be honest, the news of the postponement was demoralising, but we hope it won’t be long before we start,” Falolu told our correspondent.

Kwara United goalkeeper, Dele Aiyenugba, said, “It is true that long preparations without competitive action can affect players, at the same time, we must avoid injuries as we await the start of the season.”

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