Glo PremierThe League Management Company (LMC) on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive calendar for Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) new season scheduled to run between February 21 and October 2, 2016.

LMC also revealed that it would hold two rounds of ‘Super Four’ pre-season tournaments instead of the regular one round. The first round of the pre-season tournament will hold in Kaduna from January 20-24 while the second round will be played in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from February 1-5.

According to a statement by the league organizers, other activities in the NPFL calendar include the LMC Annual General Meeting (AGM) with participating clubs, Pre-season and Mid-Season seminars/capacity development programmes, stadium inspections and club licensing processes among others.

The comprehensive calendar, LMC said, was drawn based on usual consultations with participating clubs and proposed fixtures of the Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Federation Cup.

“We have following various consultations been properly guided to streamline the activities of the NPFL, the NFF Federations Cup as well as CAF competition dates,” the league organizers stated.

It further explained that “provision has been made for the NFF Club Licensing compliance and cut-off dates inserted to ensure compliance by clubs as required by CAF.”

On the two rounds of Super 4 tournament, LMC explained: “The rationale for the two rounds of NPFL Super 4 is to get our clubs that will be playing on the continent to play at least six competitive games from the two tournaments to sufficiently prime them to reasonable match fitness.

The tournament, it added, will be played on a round-robin structure; and will help to prepare the teams for the preliminary rounds of the CAF Club competitions which comes up on the weekend of February 12-14.

On the implementation of the club licensing requirements, the LMC said that all clubs have been given a cut-off date of February 10 to ensure the settlement of any overdue payments to players and coaches arising from the 2014/15 season and or provide an acceptable financial guarantee instruments to secure the payments as well as tentative payment plan from the clubs proprietors.

“LMC, as the NFF First Instant Body (FIB) on the management and operations of club licensing in Nigeria has also set a deadline of February 15, for the issuance of the NFF Club licensing Certificate as directed by CAF to clubs that have met the minimum criteria for participation in the 2016 NPFL season”, it added.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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