The Federal Authorities says it has not lifted the ban on contact sports activities, together with soccer, amid preparations by Nigeria Skilled Soccer League golf equipment forward of the 2020/21 season.
Nationwide Coordinator of the Presidential Job Drive on COVID-19 Dr Sani Aliyu, whereas answering questions at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, stated the PTF had solely eliminated restrictions on non-contact sports activities.
“On the difficulty, I’m a soccer fan, however sadly, now we have not allowed contact sports activities in the mean time. Now we have solely allowed non-contact sports activities, and so, soccer just isn’t included. All these soccer followers, it’s not but time, however we’re this, and we’ll proceed stress-free when the time comes and it’s protected to take action,” Aliyu stated.
This comes as a shock to the nation’s teeming soccer populace, who heaved a sigh of aid final week, after the PTF, in its pointers, said it had eliminated restrictions on “sporting leagues.”
Eventually week’s press briefing, Aliyu stated nothing had modified in sports activities, insisting that solely non-contact sports activities have been allowed to carry, however the PTF’s implementation pointers for the section three of eased lockdown, granted permission for resumption of sporting leagues with out followers, which brought about confusion amongst soccer stakeholders.
“Restriction is eliminated on outside communal (non-contact) sports activities and use of leisure parks for supervised bodily train; and sporting leagues to renew with no followers in stadiums and with mandatory NPIs to be directed by the Federal Ministry of Sports activities and Youth Improvement and the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Illness Management),” the rule said.
Secretary of the Membership Homeowners Affiliation, Alloy Chukwuemeka, advised The PUNCH final week, “There’s a little bit of complicated info from the PTF. The doc they launched stated all leagues ought to resume with out followers, however the video of the (Aliyu’s) press briefing is one thing completely different.”
The brand new growth has positioned the resumption of the NPFL at midnight.
The League Administration Firm, organisers of the NPFL, had begun preparations in the direction of resumption of the brand new season by sending notices to golf equipment to submit their licensing purposes, a prerequisite for collaborating within the incoming season, which was being deliberate to start in October.
In the meantime, some gamers within the NPFL have lamented the newest twist.
“That is so unhappy to listen to, as a result of we’ve began coaching. I don’t know what we’ll do from right here,” Lobi Stars defender Reuben Ogbonnaya advised The PUNCH.
Akwa United midfielder, Dare Ojo added, “What we heard is that they stated soccer is resuming with out followers. Now that you’re telling me that we aren’t to renew once more, I simply can’t imagine it. I simply hope they discover a answer to this rapidly.”