Nigerian Professional Football League

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Nigeria Professional Football League
Founded 2013; 4 years ago (2013)
Country Nigeria
Confederation CAF
Number of teams 20
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Nigeria National League
Domestic cup(s) Nigerian FA Cup
Nigerian Super Cup
Super 4 (Nigeria)
International cup(s) Champions League
Confederation Cup
Current champions Plateau United (2017) (1st title) [1]
Most championships Enyimba F.C. and Enugu Rangers (7)
TV partners SuperSport

The Nigerian Professional Football League, formerly known as the Nigerian Premier League for the second time, as of the 2012/2013 Season from the 2003/2004 Season; "Nigerian Premiership" (2000–2003); "Nigerian Premier League", first time (1993–2000); "Nigerian Professional League" (1990–1993); Nigerian National League - First Division (1979–1990) and "the (Nigerian) National League" or "Nigerian Football League" (1972–1979), [2] is the highest level of the Nigerian football league system, for the Nigerian Club-football Championships. But the Nigerian top-division had experienced many dwindling fortunes, since the late 2000s. [3] [4] It is fed into by the Nigeria National League (NNL). It is organized by the League Management Company (LMC).

The League Management Company[edit]

This is the legal League board or body that was incorporated in November, 2012, by the Nigeria Football Federation to take over the nearly-collapsed NPL. The first step the LMC took was to rebrand the League name,from the Nigerian Premier League to the Nigerian Professional Football League, (NPFL) or simply the Professional 'Football' League) (P'F'L) i.e. just "Professional League" or "Football League" inside Nigeria. [5] [6]

In 2015, the League Management Company solicited financial support from the Government in order to "upgrade of existing grounds and provision of required broadcast equipment and facilities in the stadiums”. [7]

International Partnerships[edit]

On the 27th of April 2016, The Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP) organizers of the La Liga sealed a five-year memorandum of understanding deal with the NPFL on capacity building and idea exchange signed by the League Management Company chairman, Shehu Dikko and the La Liga President Javier Tebas. The NPFL and La Liga partnership has already started bearing fruit as during the January transfer window, Super Eagles fringe player Ezekiel Bassey was signed on loan from Enyimba to Barcelona B on a six-month deal with an option of 3-years come end of the season based on performance. The NPFL AllStars (made up of the league's best players) have also been playing Pre-Season as well as Winter break friendlies with top flight Spanish sides like Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, Villareal etc. In an effort to expose and test Local players against top players and sides.

In 2017, on Thursday, May 25th, The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) alongside the League Management Company (LMC), also consummated a multi-faceted strategic agreement in general football development with the Football Federation and Premier League body of the Kingdom of Morocco, NFF President Amaju Pinnick and NFF 2nd Vice President/ LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko put pen to paper on a memorandum of understanding with their Moroccan counterparts, the result of detailed discussions, deliberations and considerations over time. The two FA Presidents signed their own sides in the Office of the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football in Rabat, while the LMC 's Chairman, Shehu Dikko and Chairman of the Ligue Nationale de Football Professionnel, (which organises the Botola, Said Naciri signed at the LNFP office, watched by the two FA bosses. [8]

2016/2017 season[edit]

The 2016/2017 season is the 46th season of top flight football in Nigeria and the 27th season since the league turned professional with last season's champions Enugu Rangers, Rivers United F.C., Wikki Tourists and Federation Cup winners FC Ifeanyi Ubah F.C. representing the League at the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

On February 24, 2017, during a match day 10 fixture between MFM FC and reigning champions Enugu Rangers, at the Agege Stadium, Lagos fans as well as neutrals were treated to a "miraculous" goal[this quote needs a citation] as a loose ball from Rangers midfielder Chinedu Udeagha, was pounced on by MFM's left back Julius Emiloju who prodded the ball forward to diminutive midfield maestro Chukwuka Onuwa who found space, lobbed the ball to Stephen Odey who then flicked the ball to Sikiru Olatunbosun who with the presence of mind, flicked it above onrushing defender Etim Matthew and with a 180-degree turn at the edge of the 20-yard box, he unleashed a left-foot drive past the Rangers goalie, sending fans at the "Temple of Soccer" wild. The goal has since gone viral on social media and won the CNN 'Goal of the week' in the process with 82% votes of the 6,647 votes cast, beating off competition from AS Roma's Radja Nainggolan 11%, Youri Tielemans of Anderlecht 6% and Joey Jones of Woking FC 1%.

Plateau United won the league on the 9th of September, 2017, with a 2 nil victory over Enugu Rangers. [9]

Best Global Reputation[edit]

In 2012, the NPL was ranked as the best in Africa and 24th best in the world by the IFFHS, the rating puts it a spot above the Scottish Premier League for the year.[10][11]

List of past champions[edit]

Champions by season[edit]

Most titles won[edit]

Clubs Championship Years
Enyimba (Aba) 7 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015
Rangers International (Enugu) 7 1971, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1984, 2016
Shooting Stars (Ibadan) 5 1976, 1980, 1983, 1995, 1998
Iwuanyanwu Nationale (Owerri) 5 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993
Kano Pillars (Kano) 4 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014
Dolphin (Port Harcourt) (Includes Eagle Cement) 3 1997, 2004, 2011
Julius Berger (Lagos) 2 1991, 2000
Bendel Insurance (Benin City) 2 1973, 1979
Plateau United (Jos) 1 2017
Leventis United (Ibadan) 1 1986
Bayelsa United (Yenegoa) 1 2009
Ocean Boys (Brass) 1 2006
Lobi Stars (Makurdi) 1 1999
Udoji United (Awka) 1 1996
BCC Lions (Gboko) 1 1994
Stationery Stores (Lagos) 1 1992
New Nigeria Bank (Benin City) 1 1985
Racca Rovers (Kano) 1 1978
Mighty Jets (Jos) 1 1972



  • 1990 Ishaya Jatau Iwuanyanwu 17
  • 1991 Richard Ojomo Bendel United 12
  • 1992 Arthur Moses Super Stores 10
  • 1993 Tony Nwigwe Iwuanyanwu 13
  • 1994 Olumide Harris Shooting Stars 14
  • 1995 Ben Agawam Gombe United 12
  • 1996 Peter Anyiolobi Enyimba 9
  • 1997 Paul Kpoughoul Jasper United/BCC Lions 16
  • 1998 Hassan Minna Gombe United 14
  • 1999 Emmanuel Ago Iwuanyanwu 14
  • 2000 Peter Ijeh Julius Berger 14
Year Best/Top scorers Team Goals
2001 Nigeria Uche Okereke Enugu Rangers 13
2002 Ghana Joetex Frimpong El-Kanemi Warriors 16
2003 Nigeria Chibuzor Ozurumba
Nigeria Endurance Idahor
Iwuanyanwu Nationale
Julius Berger
2004 Nigeria Kabiru Alausa Julius Berger 13
2005 Nigeria Timothy Anjembe
NigeriaJoseph Akpala
Lobi Stars
Bendel Insurance
2006 Nigeria Ikechukwu Ibenegbu El-Kanemi Warriors 10
2007 Nigeria Aruwa Ameh Kaduna United 10
2008 Nigeria Abubakar Babale Wikki Tourists/Sunshine Stars 14
2009 Nigeria Orok Akarandut Akwa United 17
2010 Nigeria Ahmed Musa Kano Pillars 18
2011[citation needed] Nigeria Jude Aneke Kaduna United 20
2012[citation needed] Nigeria Sibi Gwar Niger Tornadoes 17
2013[citation needed] Nigeria Victor Namo Nasarawa United 18
2014[citation needed] Nigeria Mfon Udoh Enyimba 23
2015[citation needed] Nigeria Gbolahan Salami Warri Wolves 17
2016[citation needed] Nigeria Godwin Obaje Wikki Tourists 18


External links[edit]