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LMC end NPFL at gameweek 24 amidst Nigerian football crisis

Enugu Rangers during a league encounter in the NPFL. Courtesy LMC Media

The 2018 Nigeria Professional Football League has been brought to a premature end after 24 matches, according to a statement released by the League Management Company.

In an emergency meeting featuring the nation's footballing stakeholders, it was decided that Lobi Stars will represent the country in the 2019 CAF Champions League.

The league was postponed 12 weeks ago, initially for a one-month break ahead of the World Cup, however, it is yet to resume amidst the lingering crisis that's enveloped Nigeria's football administration.

It has been decided that none of the NPFL's 20 teams will be relegated this season, and the division will feature 24 teams - including four promoted teams - next season.

These decisions were informed by the need to meet the October 15 deadline set by the Confederation of Africa Football for the registration of clubs by national football federations ahead of next year's CAF club competitions.

The Nigeria Football Federation endorsed a commencement date of September 2018 to 14 October 2018 for the 2018 AITEO Cup.

The competition will produce Nigeria's representative for the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup, as decisive steps have been taken to ensure Nigeria competes in next year's CAF club competitions.

Undoubtedly, Lobi Stars are the biggest beneficiaries of the decisions taken by the league's governing body, as they make a return to the CAF Champions League after their solitary appearance in 2000.

The Makurdi-based team finished on top of the log with 43 points, two more than closest challengers Akwa United, and must strive to redeem Nigeria's recent poor performances in the CAF Champions League.