Segun Ogunnowo, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Nationwide League One (NLO), on Wednesday said the competition organisers were committed to providing adequate security and medicals during the upcoming 2022/2023 season.
Ogunnowo gave the commitment during a news conference at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, held as part of activities heralding the May 3 kickoff of the amateur league.
He said the league ruling body had put in place adequate security measures for the safety of fans, spectators, players, match officials and other club officials.
“The league season will start by May 3, and in the area of security, we have put in place the best approach in terms of security personnel around the match venues.
“We will work with all the security bodies in the country, such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Boys Scout, and of course private security guards mainly for the match officials.
“We will be having the private security guards for the match officials, because they are usually the target for the irate fans, and we don’t want anything untoward to happen to them,” Ogunnowo said.
The NLO COO also explained that the medical state and status of each player were also a top priority for the league body.
“For the past six years, we have been carrying out comprehensive medical checks on NLO players. Those medical results are put together and sent to the FIFA.
“FIFA is very much interested in our medical results because it forms part of their own research and documentation as well. We have been working with FIFA medical network for a long time now.
“We hardly have a case of an NLO player who collapsed on the pitch because those issues would have been detected during the medical screenings.
“At the same time, we also ensure that all NLO players have insurance cover which is done at the registration level.
“We have Accident and Life insurance cover for the players, which is part of the money paid for registration,” Ogunnowo added.
NLO is the third-tier of the country’s domestic league, with more than 300 clubs and academies fighting for honours.
Meanwhile, the NLO Secretariat has unveiled a two-week programme which will define the smooth commencement of the season.
The 2022/2023 NLO Division One season will kick off with a Kano derby between Kano Pillars Jnr and Kwankwasiya FC at the Sani Abacha Stadium on May 3.