Following a consultative meeting with the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) board in Abuja on Thursday evening, the Football Club Owners Association of Nigeria has reached a unanimous decision. They have agreed to commence the 2023/24 season on August 26, in accordance with the NPFL’s recommendation. The 20 clubs participating in the league, led by Chairman Honourable Gbenga Elegbeleye, have collectively decided to forego the previously discussed abridged league format. Instead, they have opted for a full season consisting of 38 consecutive matches. This format will determine the league champion and Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup. Hon. Elegbeleye expressed gratitude towards the clubs, specifically acknowledging Chief Okey Kpalukwu for the cooperation the NPFL board has experienced under his leadership. He pledged to reciprocate this goodwill at every available opportunity.
Hon. Elegbeleye, who doubles as 2nd Vice President Nigeria Football Federation stated, “I want to thank the entire club owners under the leadership of Chief Okey Kpalukwu for the support and cooperation given us thus far, we’ve no doubt that together we will have a league that Nigerians will be proud of”.
During his remarks, Chief Kpalukwu assured the NPFL leadership of unwavering support from the Club Owners, emphasizing the shared commitment to progress and recognizing both parties as partners on this journey.
“What we as Club Owners will guarantee the NPFL board is our cooperation as long as we are seen to be important partners and major stakeholders in the NPFL. I look forward to a very successful 2023/24 NPFL season”, the Rivers United General Manager emphasized.
As the 2023/24 league season approaches, the NPFL board is fully engaged in preparations for the upcoming Annual General Meeting, set to take place on August 17 in Abuja. The highlight of the event will be the eagerly anticipated draw, which will determine the fixtures for the season. Excitement is building among fans all over the nation, as the draw will be broadcast live on television, allowing everyone to witness the proceedings.
In addition to the AGM and the draw, the Club Owners have been proactively working to ensure the seamless functioning of their organization. To achieve this, they have established several committees, each with specific responsibilities and areas of focus. Leading the way is General Secretary Godwin Enakhena, who will be at the helm of the constitution drafting ad hoc committee. Assisting him in this crucial task will be Barrister Ferdinand Ogwuarua from Rangers of Enugu, serving as the committee’s secretary, and Engineer Ibrahim Dada, the chairman of Niger Tornadoes of Minna, who will contribute as a committee member.
The publicity committee, responsible for promoting and broadcasting league-related information, is headed by Akwa United Chairman, Elder Paul Bassey, with the support of Godwin Enakhena as the committee’s secretary. Additionally, Kumbi Titiloye from Kwara United is a valued committee member, ensuring that the league’s news reaches a broader audience.
Recognizing the significance of effective financial management, the Club Owners have appointed Alhaji Suleiman Umar from Doma United of Gombe as the chair of the financial committee. Assisting him in this capacity is Honourable Habila Mutla, the secretary from Plateau United, and Honorable Tunde Ogunja, representing Sunshine Stars of Akure, who will be an active committee member.
The Welfare Committee, entrusted with the well-being of all stakeholders involved, is led by the experienced Alhaji Abubakar Abubakar, General Manager of Gombe United. Assisting him is Promise Nwachukwu, General Manager of Heartland of Owerri, serving as the committee’s secretary, while Charles Ihimekpen, the Secretary of Bendel Insurance in Benin City, completes the team as a committee member.
With these committees now in place, the Club Owners are poised for a well-organized and successful 2023/24 league season. Through their collaborative efforts, they aim to create an exceptional experience for players, officials, and fans alike.