The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) has challenged clubs in the competition to approach the last half of the 2022/23 season with the highest standards of excellence and adherence to the rules and regulations of the league.
IMC Chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye, yesterday, said the clubs are expected to return to action tomorrow with matchday 10 fixtures across scheduled venues.
The headline fixture on the resumption day is in Aba, where former champions, Enyimba, will host Group A leaders, Bendel Insurance.
Insurance won the reverse fixture 1-0 in Benin on matchday 9 to finish the first stanza unbeaten.
“We, first of all, want to commend the clubs and their players for a near-perfect first stanza of the season and for the rest of the season, the highest standards of excellence in quality of play and adherence to the rules is required,” Elegbeleye said.
He assured the clubs of fairness in match officiating and the application of the rules by the IMC to ensure that the best clubs emerge for the play-off.
“Our commitment to fairness on and off the field of play is even reinforced by our determination to have only the very best clubs qualifying for the play-off at the end of the season,” Elegbeleye assured and tasked the clubs to provide value for fans through the improved standard of play.
While also commending fans for staying loyal to their clubs and for interest in the NPFL, the IMC chairman urged them to always exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship and eschew tendencies that will bring the game to disrepute.
Lobi Stars of Makurdi leads in Group B with 19 points and are followed by Rivers United with 18 points, while Group A has Insurance with 23 points at the top, followed by Enyimba with 16 points. Akwa United and Sunshine Stars, who are in third positions respectively in each group, complete the play-off zone after the first stanza.
Six teams of the top three from each group will compete in a playoff to determine the champions of the season.
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