NPFL Enforces Mandatory Participation in Youth League, Warns of “Serious Sanctions”

NPFL Warns Clubs: Join Youth League or Face Serious Sanctions

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has issued a stern warning to its member clubs, declaring participation in the inaugural NPFL Youth League mandatory. 

NPFL Warns Clubs: Join Youth League or Face Serious Sanctions

Zonal qualifiers for the league are set to kick off on February 1–3 across five designated centres, and any club failing to field a youth team faces “serious sanctions.”

No Exceptions, No Excuses:

NPFL Chairman Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye made the league’s position clear after a meeting with Youth League Committee Chairman Pastor Emeka Inyama, Footballrover reports.

Participation in this first edition of the Youth League is compulsory for all 20 NPFL Clubs and there will be serious sanctions for any club that for whatever reason failed to present their Youth team for the competition,” he said.

Investing in the Future:

Elegbeleye explained the vital role of the Youth League in sustaining the NPFL’s future by serving as a platform to develop young players who can replace ageing or injured veterans or those seeking opportunities abroad.

Building club identity:

The league chairman further highlighted the cost-saving advantages of nurturing homegrown talent.

Developing players from within allows clubs to avoid expensive player transfers while preserving their unique culture and values.”

Seamless Start on the Horizon:

Pastor Inyama, head of the Youth League Committee, assured a smooth execution of the qualifiers.

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He stressed the importance of working hand-in-hand with the clubs to achieve a smooth documentation process and a flawless launch.

He also announced a venue change for the South-South zone, with Port Harcourt now hosting the qualifiers previously scheduled for Asaba.

Key Dates and Locations:

Teams will arrive at their designated zonal grounds on January 30, with documentation screening taking place on January 31.

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The five qualifying zones are:

  • Kaduna: Northeast and Northwest
  • Enugu: Southeast
  • Ekiti: Southwest
  • Lafia: North Central
  • Port Harcourt: South-South

The NPFL’s commitment to its Youth League reflects a growing recognition of youth development as crucial for the long-term health of professional football leagues.

With mandatory participation and the potential for “serious sanctions,” the league is sending a clear message: nurturing young talent is no longer optional, it’s essential.

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