Amid talks of possible return of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) this year, the Minister of Youth and Sports development, Sunday Dare has warned the organizers.
The league was ended prematurely last season due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as all sporting activities were suspended in the country since March.
But there have been talks of starting a new season after the Federal Government of Nigeria, following the advice of the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, lifted the ban on sports across the country.
“We are happy that the ban on sports has been lifted after so many months of inactivity,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“The Ministry is not oblivious of the challenges that would be encountered in organising football matches.
“We cannot take anything for granted. As a way of safeguarding the lives of our players, coaches, officials and fans, approval must be sought and given before any game is played.
“The Ministry would ensure that all protocols and guidelines are obeyed as directed by PTF and NCDC.”
The statement added: “The domestic League will not commence until the regulations and controls bothering on financial and licensing control are enforced.”
The Sports Ministry has set up a COVID-19 monitoring and approval team which would ensure compliance before any game is played, and has directed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to communicate the decisions to the clubs to forestall any crisis.
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