The 2020/2021 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season ends on Thursday with many high points to look forward to, even without the competition’s title at stake.
The season began on Dec. 27, and it has trudged on since in spite of issues of the absence of title sponsors as well as the accumulation of match indemnities and other entitlements to match officials.
Newsmen report that all these will now come to an end (at least for this season) with Match Day 38 fixtures at 10 venues on Thursday.
Akwa United Football Club of Uyo have won the title since Match Day 37 on Sunday, after whipping MFM FC of Lagos 5-2 to move to 71 points for an unassailable nine-point lead.
But much is still at stake, with qualification tickets for the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League and 2021/2022 CAF Confederation Cup on the line, as well as relegation to the lower league.
The position of second-placed Nasarawa United of Lafia is under threat and they may miss the chance to join Akwa United in qualifying for the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League.
A win will however take them far away from the chasing pack of third-placed Kano Pillars, fourth-placed Rivers United, fifth-placed Enyimba International and sixth-placed Kwara United.
But each of all the five clubs have a chance, provided they win and their nearest rivals lose, with one CAF Champions League ticket and one Confederation Cup ticket at stake.
With all five of them playing away, the situation is unpredictable and only those who can grab away wins will pick the tickets to play on the continent.
FC IfeanyiUbah and Adamawa United are already relegated, but the other two to join them can be any two of Warri Wolves, Sunshine Stars, Wikki Tourists and Jigawa Golden Stars.
Warri Wolves need more than a win to escape the drop, while Sunshine Stars and Wikki Tourists need to just win to scale through.
But that will be if Jigawa Golden Stars do not draw or win at MFM FC.
Newsmen report that two clubs are to join the duo of Adamawa United and FC IfeanyiUbah in dropping to the Nigeria National League (NNL) for the 2021/2022 season.
On the other hand, the second-placed team will join winners Akwa United in playing in the 2021/2022 CAF Champions League, while the third-placed team will play in the 2021/2022 CAF Confederation Cup.