NPFL: Coaches Hail LMC’s New Substitution Rule

October 29, 2020
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By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja

Top coaches in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) have hailed the League Management Company (LMC) for approving a new rule that will see them use five substitutes in the 2020/21 league season.

The coaches, who spoke separately to LEADERSHIP Sports, described the new five substitution rule as a welcome development, saying it will help the coaches map out tactical plans.

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Recall that LMC chairman, Shehu Dikko, confirmed that five substitutions would be allowed in the forthcoming season, as the country’s elite men’s football league is expected to kick-off on November 15, eight months after it was suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak.

He said the use of five substitutions among other measures would mitigate against any potential hazards to the players.

“It is an advantage for coaches; technically and tactically, because, sometimes when we have three subs, the last sub will be kept for the goalkeeper or for whatever that will happen in the last minutes”.

“With just three subs, one has to think beyond football, but with the five subs, the coach will be at ease and it will not affect the free flow of the games,” head coach of Heartland FC of Owerri, Fidelis Ilechukwu stated in a chat with LEADERSHIP sports.

In the same vein, the coach of Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Usman Abd’Allah, said the new substitution rule is in line with other major leagues in the world, saying the clubs are ready to abide by it.

“It’s a good one because that’s what they are doing in other leagues. If it’s approved by FIFA, then it’s okay. I don’t think they created the rules on their own”.

“For me, we are ready to follow the rule of the LMC. So, the five-man sub is a welcome development,” Abd’Allah said.

Also, Nasarawa United technical adviser, Bala Nikyu, commended the LMC for the new rule, noting that it would create room for more players to showcase their talents.

“I must commend the LMC for this new development. The rule will favour all the clubs and most of the players who find it difficult to play in the league will now have time to showcase their talents.

“Even the players are happy with the development,” he said.

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