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Enugu Rangers call off resumption as uncertainty trails NPFL kickoff

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Enugu Rangers’ Chibuzor Madu battling with Rivers United’s Chinomso Okonkwo during the 2019/2020 season.

Enugu Rangers yesterday became the first club to put off their resumption date following the uncertainty that has trailed the kickoff of the 2020/2021 of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL).

Enugu Rangers had earlier instructed their players to return to camp last weekend to begin preparations for the 2020/2021 season.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) recently announced that the 2020/2021 league will kickoff either this month or next month and end in May 2021 subject to the full reopening of the country and the approval of the health authorities.

However, the Sports Ministry last week reaffirmed that the kickoff date would only be determined by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, which has already sanctioned the resumption of non-contact sports.

The PTF has also ruled off the resumption of football activities, saying the country is not yet safe for such activities to return.

Yesterday, Enugu Rangers in a statement made available to The Guardian called off the earlier resumption date, whole advising players and other officials to wait for further directives.

The statement by the General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Prince Davidson Owumi, stated the postponement became necessary due largely to the current announcement from NCDC/PTF over the COVID-19 health protocols.

“We are a law-abiding institution and will in no way flaunt laws put in place by a well-constituted government body like NCDC and PTF. The earlier information at our disposal made us make our earlier announcement for our players to return but with further clarifications from NCDC and PTF, we are compelled to direct our players against returning to the players’ camp.

“When we get clearance, they will be informed of when to return,” stated Owumi.

This is coming when most of the clubs in the NPFL had already started testing their players for COVID-19, which is one of the conditions given by the League Management Company (LMC) before clubs are allowed to play in the league.


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