17 out of 20 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs have voted to end the current season due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Plateau United, Enyimba, and Rivers United qualifying for continental competitions.
“The 2019/2020 season has been brought to a halt because of the prevailing circumstances, that is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged all parts of the world,” Isaac Danladi, chairman of the club owners, announced on Monday. He said 17 out of the 20 topflight teams had agreed to finish the season — with final placings worked out on a points per game basis and no relegation.
That calculation means Plateau United and Enyimba will claim the two CAF Champions League slots and Rivers United will feature in the CAF Confederation Cup. Danladi said the decision to end the season — which was first suspended in March — had been passed on to Nigeria’s football federation for “final confirmation
The club owners’ chairman, who also runs Nasarawa United, said it was “too early” to fix a definitive date for the kick-off of next season.
The move is not the first time the Nigerian premier league has been aborted ahead of schedule. Two seasons ago the league was ended with 15 rounds to go so that the country could beat the deadline set by CAF for the submission of clubs for continental competitions. Authorities have imposed a raft of restrictions to try to curb the coronavirus, which has so far caused 20,244 confirmed infections and 518 deaths.