Soccernet.ng highlights some of the changes that have been effected ahead of the kickoff of the 2022/2023 Nigeria top-flight campaign.
Name change: Still NPFL?
The Nigeria first division will no longer be referred to as the Nigeria Professional Football League as it has been renamed the Nigeria Premier Football League.
This is not the first time, in the league’s 51-year history, it will be renamed as it only acquired the tag ‘Nigeria Professional Football League’ ahead of the 2012/2013 season.
It had at different times been known as the Nigerian Premier League, the Nigerian Premiership, the Nigerian Premier League, the Nigerian Professional League, the Nigerian National League – First Division, and the Nigerian Football League.
One opening round match?
Only one match will be played on the opening weekend of the 2023 Nigeria Premier Football League as other games have been postponed to next weekend.
It was gathered that the Nigeria Football Federation, the IMC, and Club Owners agreed to shift the rest of the Matchday one fixtures by a week while the star match will still kick off on January 8th.
At the Nest of Champions, 2021 league champions Akwa United will host newly-promoted Bendel Insurance in the first NPFL game of the season.
Akwa United will be favourites to secure all three points against an Insurance team making their second appearance in the top flight in the last 13 years.
Insurance, though, remain one of Nigeria’s oldest and most staunchly supported clubs.
Two league titles, three FA Cup victories, and one CAF Cup triumph (in 1994) suggest that the Benin Arsenal are also of the country’s most successful clubs.
Rivers United are the reigning champions of the NPFL.
Postponed Matchday One Fixtures:
Nasarawa United vs Enyimba
Enugu Rangers vs Abia Warriors
Plateau United vs Shooting Stars
Bayelsa United vs Dakkada
Doma United vs Sunshine Stars
Kwara United vs Gombe United
Remo Stars vs El-Kanemi Warriors
Rivers United vs Lobi Stars
Wikki Tourists vs Niger Tornadoes