Nigerian Professional Football League

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Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
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Founded1972; 47 years ago (1972)
Number of teams20
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toNigeria National League
Domestic cup(s)Nigerian FA Cup
Nigerian Super Cup
Super 4 (Nigeria)
International cup(s)Champions League
Confederation Cup
Current championsEnyimba F.C. (2019) [1]
Most championshipsEnyimba F.C. (8)
TV partnersSuperSport
2018–19 Nigeria Professional Football League

The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) 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. [2] [3] It is fed into by the Nigeria National League (NNL). It is organized by the League Management Company (LMC).


It was 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), [4]

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 27, 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 Atlético Madrid, Malaga, Valencia, Villareal etc. In an effort to expose and test Local players against top players and sides.

In Thursday, May 25, 2017, 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]


2017 season[edit]

Plateau United F.C. won the league on the 9th of September, 2017, with a 2–0 victory over Enugu Rangers.[9]

2018 season[edit]

In July 2018 the league was postponed indefinitely following crisis in the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).[10][11]

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.[12][13]

List of past champions[edit]

Champions by season[edit]

Most titles won[edit]

Clubs Championship Years
Enyimba (Aba) 8 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2019
Rangers International (Enugu) 7 1971, 1974, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1984, 2016
Shooting Stars (Ibadan) 5 1976, 1980, 1983, 1995, 1998
Heartland F.C. (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
Bendel Insurance (Benin City) 2 1973, 1979
Julius Berger (Lagos) 2 1991, 2000
Lobi Stars (Makurdi) 2 1999, 2018
BCC Lions (Gboko) 1 1994
Stationery Stores (Lagos) 1 1992
Leventis United (Ibadan) 1 1986
Plateau United (Jos) 1 2017
Bayelsa United (Yenegoa) 1 2009
Ocean Boys (Brass) 1 2006
Udoji United (Awka) 1 1996
New Nigeria Bank (Benin City) 1 1985
Racca Rovers (Kano) 1 1978
Mighty Jets (Jos) 1 1972


Year Best/Top scorers Team Goals
1990 [14] Nigeria Ishaya Jatau Iwuanyanwu Nationale 17
1991 Nigeria Richard Ojomo Bendel United 12
1992 Nigeria Arthur Moses Super Stores 10
1993 Nigeria Tony Nwigwe Iwuanyanwu Nationale 13
1994 Nigeria Olumide Harris Shooting Stars 14
1995 Nigeria Ben Agawam Gombe United F.C. 12
1996 Nigeria Peter Anyiolobi Enyimba 9
1997 notavailable Paul Kpoughoul Jasper United/BCC Lions 16
1998 Nigeria Hassan Minna Gombe United 14
1999 Nigeria Emmanuel Ago Iwuanyanwu Nationale 14
2000 Nigeria Peter Ijeh Julius Berger 14
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 Nigeria Jude Aneke Kaduna United 20
2012 [15] Nigeria Sibi Gwar Niger Tornadoes 17
2013 [15] Nigeria Victor Namo Nasarawa United 18
2014 [15] Nigeria Mfon Udoh Enyimba 23
2015 [16] Nigeria Gbolahan Salami Warri Wolves 17
2016 [15] Nigeria Godwin Obaje Wikki Tourists 18
2017 Nigeria Anthony Okpotu Lobi Stars 19
2018[17] Nigeria Junior Lokosa Kano Pillars 19
2019 Nigeria Mfon Udoh Nigeria Sunusi Ibrahim Akwa united . Nasarawa united 19


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Walker, Andrew (2008-07-28). "Africa | Is Premier League killing Nigerian football?". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  3. ^ Category: Weekend. "Guardian News Website – Dwindling fortunes of Nigeria's premier league". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  4. ^ "Nigeria Champions". Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-05-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-31. Retrieved 2017-05-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Ahmadu, Samuel (22 August 2015). "Shehu Dikko appeals to governors for stadia facilities upgrade". Goal. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2017-05-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Plateau United wins Nigerian Professional Football League".
  10. ^ "Nigerian league postponed indefinitely". 17 July 2018.
  11. ^ "LMC announces indefinite postponement of NPFL resumption". Nigeria Professional Football League. 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  12. ^ "Kenyan League ranked Worst in Africa". Nairobi Wire. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  13. ^ "KPL becomes last in IFFHS World rankings". Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  14. ^ "The Nigerian league's top scorers' jinx – SuperSport – Football". SuperSport. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  15. ^ a b c d "ODEY'S TARGET: Top Scorers In Last Five NPFL Seasons". Complete Sports.
  16. ^ "Gbolahan Salami finishes as NPFL's top scorer". DailyPost Nigeria. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  17. ^ "Lokosa Gets Eunisell's N3.8m, Trophy as NPFL Top Scorer". ThisDay. Retrieved 2019-01-22.

External links[edit]