The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2022/23 season will get underway on January 8, following the completion of the draws on Wednesday afternoon.
The draws which took place at the Sandralia Hotel in Abuja, saw the 20 topflight teams including the newly promoted quartet of Bendel Insurance, Bayelsa United, Doma United and Elkanemi Warriors divided into two groups of ten teams each.
The IMC has conducted draw for the 2022/2023 NPFL season.
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– Abridged League of two groups.
– The season will kickoff in January. pic.twitter.com/qCz6ZBuh6S
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel 🇳🇬 (@OgaNlaMedia) December 28, 2022
In Group A, which is dubbed the “group of death”, Enyimba, Shooting Stars, Akwa United, Plateau United and Bendel Insurance – all past winners of the league – will do battle with the likes of Elkanemi Warriors, Kwara United, last season’s surprise packages Remo Stars, Gombe United and Nasarawa United.
Defending champions Rivers United are placed in group B alongside 2016 champions Enugu Rangers, Bayelsa United, Lobi Stars and Dakkada.
Newly promoted Doma United are also listed in the group with Abia Warriors, Sunshine Stars, Wikki Tourists and Niger Tornadoes completing the cast.
Meanwhile, there was a back and forth between the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and the Club Owners Association as per the format for the season, but the draws for the abridged format still went ahead in Abuja despite protests from some of the clubs.
All things been equal, the season will get underway on January 8, which will signal the return of football in the nation’s top-flight since July 17th when the 2021/22 season ended.
This will be the first time that the abridged league season will be played in Nigeria’s top-flight since the 2019 football season.
🚨The draws for the NPFL 2022/23 Abridged season.
Kickoff date is Jan 8th, ending May 2023.
A Super Six (three from each group) will be played to determine the eventual champion of the season.
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) December 28, 2022
At the end of the regular season, a super six tournament will be played to determine the winners of the league.
In addition, the fixtures for the opening weekend of the season was also released.
Rivers United will begin their title defence at home against Lobi Stars, while Plateau United will host Shooting Stars in Jos in another entertaining fixture of match day one and the first Oriental Derby of the season will see Enugu Rangers play host to Abia Warriors in Awka.
Match Day 1 fixtures
Nasarawa Utd vs Enyimba
Akwa Utd vs Bendel Insurance
Plateau Utd vs Shooting Stars
Kwara Utd vs Gombe Utd
Remo Stars vs El Kanemi Warriors
Bayelsa Utd vs Dakkada FC
Wikki Tourists vs Niger Tornadoes
Doma Utd vs Sunshine Stars
Rivers Utd vs Lobi Stars
Rangers Intl vs Abia Warriors