Rivers United F.C.

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Rivers United
Nickname(s)The Pride of Rivers
GroundAdokiye Amiesimaka Stadium
Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
ManagerStanley Eguma
LeagueNigeria Professional Football League
2021–22Nigeria Professional Football League, 1st of 20 (Champions)
WebsiteClub website

Rivers United Football Club is a professional football club based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that participates in the Nigerian Professional Football League, the highest level of domestic Nigerian football. The club was formed by the merger of Sharks F.C. and Dolphins F.C. in 2016. Their home stadium was the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, formerly Liberation Stadium, in Elekahia that has a seating capacity of 30,000.[1] They moved to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium stadium in 2020. The stadium, renovated in 2020, has a capacity of 40,000.[2] [3] There is also a female team, Rivers Angels F.C., which is one of the best in Nigeria and Africa. [4]

Rivers United FC has remained in the top flight since its first season. In the 2020-2021 CAF Confederation Cup season, Rivers defeated South African opponent Bloemfontein Celtic home and away to set up a highly anticipated matchup against neighbors Enyimba in the final qualifying round for a spot in the group stage. They lost the tie on penalties after a 1–1 aggregate scoreline[5]


Rivers United was founded in 2016 after the Rivers state government got permission to merge Dolphins FC and Sharks FC. Both clubs were run by the state government and were experiencing financial difficulty.[6] Sharks were relegated to the First Division in 2015 while Dolphins had barely escaped relegation after drawing their final match.[7] Rivers United' crest contains both a shark and a dolphin as a result of the merge.[8]

Stanley Eguma was appointed coach and led them to a win in their first league match, 1–0 over Enyimba.[9]

The club finished second in the 2016 Nigerian Premier League which qualified them for the 2017 CAF Champions League for the first time.[10] A four-goal second-leg win over Mali's AS Bamako with Esosa Igbinoba and Bernard Ovoke each scoring braces put Rivers past the preliminary round.[11] However, they were eliminated by Sudan's Al-Merrikh 4–3 on aggregate in the first round after losing a 3–0 first round lead.[12]

2021–22: Nigerian Professional League Champions[edit]

On June 25, 2022, Rivers United won their first Nigeria Professional Football League title with four games to spare after Akwa United beat their nearest challengers, Plateau United 2-1 in Uyo.[13]

Rivers United ended the season with 77 points, breaking the league record of 73 points in a season.[14][15]

The 2021-22 Nigeria Professional Football League title is their first league title since the merger between Dolphins and Sharks FC of Port Harcourt in 2016.[16] It is also the first NPFL title by a Rivers-based side since the Dolphins won in 2011.[17][18]

Rivers United won 23 games, drew 8, and lost 7 of their 38 league games as they claimed the 2021-22 league title with 10 points ahead of their closest rivals, Plateau United.[19][20][21]

Rivers united players and officials were awarded $20,000 each by the Rivers state government for their league triumph in 2022 and were promised another $40,000USD if they qualify for the 2022-2023 Caf champions league group stage. [22] [23]



Performance in CAF competitions[edit]

2017 – First Round
2022 – second Round
2022–23 – Second Round
2017 – Group stage
2020-21 – Play-off round
2021-22 – Play-off round
2022–23 – Quarter Finals


Head coach

  • Nigeria Stanley Eguma

Assistant coach

  • Nigeria Fatai Osho

Acting General Manager

  • Okey Kpalukwu

Welfare Secretary

  • Albert Chinwo

Media officer

Current squad[edit]

As of 13 February 2023

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Nigeria NGA Abiodun Akande
2 MF Nigeria NGA Solomon Okuruket
3 DF Ghana GHA Emmanuel Ampiah
4 DF Nigeria NGA Lawrence Edward
5 DF Cameroon CMR Ngweni Ndasi
6 DF Nigeria NGA Enyinnaya Godswill
7 FW Nigeria NGA Chukwudi Ekeocha
8 MF Nigeria NGA Ukeme Williams
9 FW Liberia LBR Mark Gibson
10 FW Nigeria NGA Agu Kenechukwu
11 MF Nigeria NGA Morice Chukwu
12 FW Liberia LBR Albert Korvah
13 MF Nigeria NGA Naibe Akpesiri
16 GK Nigeria NGA Victor Soshima
17 DF Nigeria NGA Chigozie Ihunda
18 MF Nigeria NGA Chiamaka Madu
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 DF Nigeria NGA Austin Festus (Captain)
20 MF Nigeria NGA Joseph Onoja
21 GK Ghana GHA Mutawakilu Seidu
23 MF Ghana GHA Paul Acquah
25 FW Nigeria NGA Malachi Ohawuma
26 MF Ghana GHA Farouk Mohammed
27 DF Nigeria NGA Ebube Gideon Duru
28 FW Nigeria NGA Nwangwa Nyima
29 FW Nigeria NGA Lukman Adefemi
30 FW Nigeria NGA Bolaji Sakin
31 DF Nigeria NGA Azeez Godswill
32 MF Nigeria NGA Mohammed Shiraz
33 DF Nigeria NGA Temple Emekayi
34 GK Nigeria NGA Darlington Ovunda

Rivers Angels[edit]

Further information: Rivers Angels F.C.

Rivers Angels F.C. (formerly Larry Angels F.C.) is a Nigerian professional football club based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. They play in the Nigeria Women Premier League, the top flight division in the female soccer league system in Nigeria.


  1. ^ "Dolphins, Sharks merged, now Rivers Utd F.C." Vanguard. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Rivers Utd, Rivers Angels to Use Amiesimaka Stadium for Home Matches – THISDAYLIVE".
  3. ^ "Iyaye Ya yabawa Yunkurin Gov. Wike a Gyaran Kayayyaki Ga Rivers United, Rivers Angels". 28 September 2020.
  4. ^ Football, CAF-Confedération Africaine du. "Nigeria - Resilient Rivers Angels retain Women's League title". CAFOnline.com.
  5. ^ "CAFCC: Rivers United Thrash Bloemfontein Celtic, Book Date with Enyimba". 23 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Dolphins, Sharks F.C merge to form new club". Pulse Nigeria. 19 February 2016.
  7. ^ Orevba, Babajide (19 February 2016). "Dolphins, Sharks change name to Rivers United". Legit.ng - Nigeria news.
  8. ^ "Dolphins renamed Rivers United Football Club | Goal.com". www.goal.com.
  9. ^ "'We can't lose to Enyimba'- Rivers United coach Stanley Eguma stokes up the fire ahead of must win title cracker this week". Linda Ikeji's Blog. 6 June 2016.
  10. ^ "CAF clubs competitions draws: North African ties for Rangers, FC Ifeanyi Ubah". 22 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Rivers United trash Real Bamako". supersport.com.
  12. ^ Agberebi, James (18 March 2017). "CAFCL: Rivers United Blow Big First Leg Lead Vs Al-Merrikh, Crash Out". Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  13. ^ "Rivers United claim maiden NPFL crown after Plateau United lose in Uyo". Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Rivers United Lift 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League Trophy as Dakkada Beat Drop on Last Day. – Inspiration FM, #1 Family Radio Station". Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  15. ^ Chidiezie, Jidechi (18 July 2022). "10 things you should know about the 2022 NPFL champions Rivers United". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  16. ^ "Rivers United win first Nigerian league title". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 26 June 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Rivers United claim maiden NPFL crown after Plateau United lose in Uyo". SportsRation. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  18. ^ "NPFL: Eguma hails dogged Pillars after sealing record points". Punch Newspapers. 4 July 2022. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  19. ^ "Leaders Rivers United 10 points clear after big win over closest rivals Plateau United – Score Nigeria". Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  20. ^ "2021-22 league title NPFL azscore.ng". azscore.ng. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  21. ^ "Rivers United". betsapi.com. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Wike redeems $20k promise to each Rivers United players for winning NPFL". 24 December 2022.
  23. ^ "Wike Gifts Rivers United Players $20,000 Each, Trip To Madrid, Medal – Channels Television".
  24. ^ "Rivers Utd get management team". supersport.com.

External links[edit]