Shehu Dikko, Chairman of the League Management Company, LMC, has insisted that clubs in the Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL will not pay N2.5million to test players and officials before every matchday when the season restarts, despite claims by some section of the media.
Dikko, reacting to a publication on Monday quoting the Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, as saying that players in the domestic league be not be allowed to play when the season restarts without being tested for COVID-19.
The LMC Chairman insisted that if it will be necessary to test players and officials for the virus, testing will be done by the government through the Ministry of sports.
Yesterday in a popular WhatsApp platform FUBS, populated by some of the country’s important past and present sports administrators and athletes, the LMC Chairman said:
“If and when it’s going to be done, it will be by the government through the Ministry of Sports with the NCDC co-ordinating accordingly.
“Already, this contacts have been established and what is left is for LMC’s confirmation of number of persons, locations, timing of when the football matches will return.”
Dikko further stated that since testing is decentralized, it will be easier to carry out the protocol of 60 persons per club with relative ease in their domiciled states.
Sports Minister, Dare in an interview with Brila FM said players and coaches of all NPFL clubs must undergo testing for COVID-19 before every game when the suspended season restarts.
“There will be no compromise on certain things when it comes to the health code, there will be no compromise.
“I can tell you, there will be no audience participation; content will have to be beamed through radio, television and other means.
“Tests will be conducted on the players and the coaches as the case may be and I don’t see us having multiple venues. We might think of centres to have all the other games,” Dare said.
According to ThisDay, a top source close to the League body said that a decision has not been taken on the four options available to end the season.
“The question of NPFL clubs looking for minimum of N2.5million to test their players is strange news to us in LMC. No decision has been taken on how to end the season yet as both the LMC and the NFF will have to meet on it again with the Sports Ministry also involved. The decision to restart cannot be that of LMC alone but based on the final guidelines from the health officials,” observed the official who would not want to be quoted.
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