BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Chidi Ofor Okenwa, the chairman of the second tier Nigeria football league, the Nigeria National League has declared that the Super 8 tournament that apparently hold up the commencement of domestic league competitions will soon hold.
He made the declaration when accosted on Thursday after the inauguration of the Nigeria Football Reforms Committee of which he is a member.
According to him, petitions in Groups A1 and A2 made it difficult to declare official final tables of the four arms of the league, which was contested, on conference basis. Each of the four groups was expected to produce two leaders to contest the Super 8 from where four will get promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League.
The petitions involved Real Stars and Malumfashi in Group A1 as well as Kada City and Kaduna United in Group A2. According to Okenwa, the resolutions of the two petitions had effect on top teams of the groups as well as in the battle against relegations.
This is a departure from the earlier stance of the NNL to get all the eight top teams promoted into the NPFL while no relegation will hold from NNL to the third tier league – the Nigeria Nationwide League.
One contentious issue had been that of venue for the Super 8 as some clubs kicked against Asaba, which was originally designated. A Delta State club, Delta Force will have the advantage of playing before its home fans and on its home soil.
Okenwa declared that Asaba had been designated before the teams emerged but remarked that efforts are been made to get the Super 8 concluded ahead of the NPFL Season 2018/19 kick-off.
The Kick off originally slated for November was shifted to the current month before being moved again to January next year.
The league potentially may be stopped in February owing to the Nigeria general elections. The Nigeria league is notorious for not commencing on designated kick-off dates.