The much-awaited 2023 season of the Nationwide League One (NLO) will officially kick off on Wednesday May 3rd, according to a directive from the Secretariat.
Though it has suffered a second shift in the proposed kickoff date, in keeping with its commitments made to clubs, the Secretariat of the nation’s third-tier domestic league moved forward by a week the commencement of the new season in the best interest of all parties.
The season schedule returns to the Stadium League Format, after it was adopted and vetoed in February by the NLO Congress held virtually, as it considered the security, economic and political challenges in the country.
According to the NLO Media Channel, an official statement on Thursday gave reasons for a shift in date.
“All is still in top gear to commence the season without hitches in terms of the logistics we have put in place for the Stadium League Format,” said the NLO’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Olushola Ogunnowo.
“On the other hand, a few clubs have slowed our activities as they were yet to complete their player’s registration processes.
“Players registration by all the clubs before the kickoff of the season, is imperative to the NLO, as it’s never our norm to start the season with a fire brigade approach.
“We also considered the knockout football competition, Federation Cup which is at the Round of 32 stages. A few NLO teams are still in the race for the trophy, so it won’t be fair if the Secretariat doesn’t consider such teams when releasing the fixtures for the season.
“Having moved the commencement date by a week, we are certain that the affected clubs will use this window to finalize their player’s registration for the season,” Ogunnowo stressed.
Meanwhile, the NLO will host a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday April 26, where it will make a massive announcement as regards its new sponsors.