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March 22, 2020 at 10:20 AMKCEE
Players of Akwa United and Enugu Rangers have been advised by their managers to maintain discipline and keep fit while on the break forced on Nigerian sports by the Coronavirus outbreak.
The League Management Company (LMC), which manages the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL), recently suspended the competition due to the virus that has been spreading fast across the world. And because of this, many of the clubs have sent their players on a short break pending when the league will resume.According to a statement by Akwa United, players of the team have been advised to maintain high level of discipline both in their eating habits, training and all other acts that would not negate their physical condition as they embark on a one-week break.
The head coach, Kennedy Boboye, who met with the players on Friday, said the break would last from March 20 to 27, while training would commence on March 30, 2020.
He stressed the need for players to stay in shape given the fact that the break may not last the four weeks period as announced.
“You know our league is tailored in conjunction with the European and World football calendar. Any moment from now, football may resume even under closed doors. That is why I want to disappoint those who believe that we should allow you to go for two or three weeks,” he said.
The Chairman of the club, Elder Paul Bassey in a message to the team, congratulated the players for picking two vital points in their last two away games, a feat considered herculean in the Nigerian league.
He advised them to maintain a high level of discipline and professionalism while reuniting with their family and friends.
“I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the players and the technical crew on the two vital points the team picked in our last two away games in Katsina and Nasarawa, we were planning for six points but we thank God for the two points.“Gentlemen, we are only embarking on break because of the Coronavirus pandemic, while on break please do not take this deadly disease for granted. Ensure you protect yourself and your family, maintain social distance, avoid unnecessary gatherings as much as you can, heed medical advice and do your best to stay safe.
“Let me re-emphasize that we are only embarking on break, our aspiration of winning the NPFL title is still intact because the season is not yet over”, he said.
Akwa United are sixth on the log with 35 points from 25 matches and will next engage Sunshine Stars of Akure in Uyo when the suspension is lifted by the LMC.
Meanwhile, Enugu Rangers have approved a 10-day break for their players following the four-week suspension of all football activities by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
Speaking after a meeting with the players at the Nkponkiti players’ camp, the team’s G.M/CEO, Davidson Owumi urged the players to be conscious of the health situations around them during the break.
The players were also challenged to maintain a high level of fitness during the break by the technical adviser of the side, coach Salisu Yusuf stressing that they could be called up earlier than expected should the league organizers, LMC cut shot the suspension of the league.
Also speaking, coach Salisu Yusuf, said, “This is an emergency brake but I hope we would be professional enough in our conducts so that we can maintain a high level of fitness when we return.”
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