IMC confirms 8 January as 2022-23 NPFL season kick-off date

The 2022-23 Nigeria Professional Football League season will begin on 8 January 2023, with last season’s winners Rivers United scheduled to face Lobi Stars on opening day.

Fixtures for the new season were decided in Abuja on Wednesday at a draw ceremony conducted by Interim Management Company (IMC).

IMC has stuck with their earlier decision to have an abridged campaign instead of the traditional 38-matchday season — despite the format being rejected by Club Owners Association.

The 20 teams have been split into two equal groups, with Rivers United placed in Group B while Plateau United — who finished second last term — are in Group A.

Rivers United will begin their league campaign with a home tie against Lobi Stars

On the opening day, Rivers United will confront Lobi Stars at home, while Bayelsa United — who are making a return to the topflight after a seven-year absence — will be up against Dakkada.

Elsewhere, Enugu Rangers will do battle with Abia Warriors at home while Enyimba will play away to Nasarawa United.

The campaign — which is scheduled to end in May — will be concluded with a Super Six tournament, which will determine the winners and two other continental spots.

According to IMC, the Super Six will feature the top three teams from each group — and the champions will receive a prize of ₦100million.

Meanwhile, NPFL clubs have been warned against crowd trouble and any acts of violence at match centres.

IMC boss Gbenga Elegbeleye has advised clubs against violent conducts

Speaking about measures to curb violence at match centres, IMC boss, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said teams could face a points deduction if they’re found guilty of violence.

The former Sunshine Stars supremo said: “Clubs have been informed to shun every act of violence during the course of the league.

“Any club which engage in violent conducts will not be sanctioned with ₦500,000.00 as was the case in the past, but three points will be deducted as punishment.

“We know what it means to have three points deducted from points already earned by a club in the league.”


Group A
Kwara United
Nasarawa United
Plateau United
Gombe United
El-Kanemi Warriors
Enyimba FC
Akwa United
Bendel Insurance
Shooting Stars
Remo Stars

Group B
Niger Tornadoes
Doma United
Wikki Tourists
Lobi Stars
Rivers United
Abia Warriors
Dakkada FC
Enugu Rangers
Sunshine Stars
Bayelsa United


Group A
Nasarawa United vs Enyimba FC
Akwa United vs Bendel Insurance
Plateau United vs Shooting Stars
Kwara United vs Gombe United
Remo Stars vs El-Kanemi Warriors

Group B
Bayelsa United vs Dakkada FC
Wikki Tourists vs Niger Tornadoes
Doma United vs Sunshine Stars
Rivers United vs Lobi Stars
Enugu Rangers vs Abia Warriors

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