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Enyimba, Enugu Rangers set to miss Nigeria Professional Football League kickoff

7:20 am AEDT 16/10/19
Ifeanyi Anaemena-Enyimba-Nasr-Eldin-Ahmed-Al-Hillal
The two most successful teams in the league will be unavailable for the opening weekend of the season

Defending champions Enyimba and Enugu Rangers will miss the opening weekend of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) due to their continental engagements.

The People’s Elephant and Enugu Rangers are in the play-off round of the Caf Confederation Cup and their second leg games have been fixed for November 3, the same day the NPFL 2019/20 season is scheduled to commence.

According to the league fixtures released on Monday night in Abuja, Enyimba are meant to commence their title defence against Nasarawa United but Usman Abd’Allah’s men will be taking on South African side TS Galaxy the same weekend when the league commences.

As for the Flying Antelopes, who are meant to face Sunshine Stars, they would be busy with their second leg tie against ASC Kara on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 NPFL season.

Rangers are billed to host the second leg in Enugu on November 3, a week after the away tie in Lome.

Recently, the Flying Antelopes manager Benedict Ugwu alluded to the fact the delay in the commencement of the NPFL to a large extent contributed to the ouster of two of the country’s representatives on the continent, hence it was expedient to start the league as fast as possible.

“Yes, I believe that the delay in the start of our league contributed to the elimination of some of our teams from the continent but our management foresaw this situation and moved towards overcoming it with a series of friendly matches that has helped us a lot in understanding while playing,” the Rangers coach said in an interview with StarSports.

While Enyimba were the NPFL champions last season, Rangers ended in third position which earned them a ticket into the continent.