Week 21 NPFL matches shifted to Sunday for Super Eagles

There won't be any premier league matches this Saturday as the home based Eagles begin their quest for a place at next year's CHAN competition with a tie against Cote d'Iviore

All Week 21 matches of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) will now be played on Sunday July 7 because of the Super Eagles' 2014 African Nations Championship(CHAN) qualifying match against Cote d'Ivoire slated for Saturday in Kaduna, a top official of the League Management Company(LMC) has informed Goal.

Nigeria is yet to feature at the competition meant for players based in domestic leagues and the LMC has pointed out that all hands must be on deck to ensure the country does not miss out this term just like the previous two occasions.

With the home based players sweating it out in Abuja before a trip to the venue of the game in Kaduna, LMC's media aide Kasali Obanoyen has issued a press statement that some of the league games hitherto scheduled for Saturday would now come up on Sunday for the sake of the country's representatives.

Obanoyen reckons that the Eagles need the support of all and sundry hence the decision to allow the game to be the pre-occupation of all Nigerians in the football circle on Saturday.

He says that the Eagles will require the prayers and support of all so as to have a good show in the first leg of the tie before the deciding leg in Ivory Coast in a fortnight.

"Please, note that all Week 21 NPFL matches will now be played on Sunday July 7th owing to the home based Super Eagles match in Kaduna on Saturday.

"The league body does not want anything else to distract the country's national team ahead of the CHAN qualifier because we don't want any excuse this term. Nigerians should pray for the success of the Stephen Keshi led team as they battle Ivory Coast," the press statement reads.

Nigeria are yet to participate in the CHAN competition while their Saturday opponents have been present since the competition began in 2009 when they hosted it.

Ghana's Black Stars and Niger Republic stopped Nigeria's ambition in the qualifying games for the last two championships that were held in Cote d'Iviore and  Sudan in that order. DR Congo beat Ghana 2-0 in the inaugural edition held in Ivory Coast in 2009 while Tunisia mauled Angola 3-0 in the final of the second edition in Sudan in 2011.