The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) curtain-raiser fixture in Ibadan on Friday will be the only game to be held on the opening day of the 2023–24 season, the chairman of the NPFL management says. Chairman of the NPFL, Gbenga Elegbeleye, disclosed that the decision was consistent with the tradition established last season under the then Interim Management Committee (IMC).
Remember that last season's opening day fixture was the match in Uyo between Akwa United and Bendel Insurance? "The other nine fixtures were played the following weekend, and it is one of the traditions we are bringing into the new league era," remarked Elegbeleye, who is now the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by virtue of the football statutes.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) will be hosting former champions Plateau United at the Lekan Salami Stadium in Adamasingba, Ibadan, on Saturday, September 9. The NPFL boss also noted that the decision was also necessitated by the Super Eagles match on Sunday, September 10 in Uyo.
"Some of our clubs prefer playing their home matches on Sundays to attract a full house of fans, and we cannot start from the first day to have scattered fixtures; hence, all other games apart from the curtain raiser have been moved to the following weekend," he added.
In a related development, the match in Ibadan will be the first to be streamed on the new NPFLLive app on mobile phones and other devices. Authorities at Lekan Salami Stadium have completed the construction of a camera stand with a safe staircase where the AI camera crew and commentators will operate from.
The Chairman of 3SC, Babatunde Olaniyan, revealed this after the Annual General Meeting and Draw ceremony. "We promised the broadcast team during their inspection visit that the camera stand staircase would be installed." "Our governor has approved funds for this because he wants the stadium to meet all requirements," he said.