NPFL Bars Clubs From Entering Referees’ Changing Rooms, Fixtures Rescheduling Requests

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has charged Clubs’ hierarchy to provide a conducive atmosphere at all times during the matches of the 2023/24 season.

The Chief Operating Officer of the NPFL, Davidson Owumi, gave the charge through a memo directed to participating clubs after he observed that there has been a number of worrying incidents reported around the changing rooms of match officials at some venues.

“It is becoming increasingly worrisome that unauthorised persons are encroaching to restricted areas during matches of the ongoing season,” the memo read.

The club managers were also reminded that no club official is permitted to visit match officials in their Changing room before, during and after any game.

“It has become necessary to remind our Chairmen, General Managers and other top officials of the clubs that no club officer is permitted to visit or talk to Match Officials in their Changing Rooms at halftime or at anytime in the course of a league match. Access to Match Officials is restricted and only appointed Match Commissioners and Referees are to be in the designated rooms at halftime,” the memo emphasised.

Owumi pleaded with the leadership of the clubs to provide an enabling condition for a professional game management, in order to avoid the ugly reports that has been emanating from some venues but warned that the league administrators will not hesitate to apply the full sanctions as provided in the Framework and Rules of the NPFL in proven cases of unacceptable access to match officials.

In another development, the NPFL wants clubs to avoid the habit of always requesting fixtures to be reschedued, stating that with the release of the full fixtures, all clubs have been provided with sufficient notice to plan their schedules.

“Please, be informed also that the full fixtures of the season have been made available to all clubs with provision for two midweek fixtures for Matchdays 6 and 12. It has thus provided sufficient notice for all clubs to put in place the logistics to honour the fixtures as the league would not entertain any requests for game rescheduling,” the clubs were informed.

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