NPFL 2022/2023: The Story So Far

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The 2022/2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) campaign, which has been on a mid-season break since February 18th, will resume on March 25th as the Interim Management Committee (IMC) also progresses plans for the second stanza of the season.

This schedule allows for the period of National and State Elections that will hold across Nigeria from February 25th to March 18th, 2023.

The IMC elected to run an abridged league season that had the 20 clubs placed in two equal groups of A and B, in an open and transparent draw event held in January. The format was adopted to achieve the synchronisation of the NPFL calendar with that of CAF and Europe.

Group A

Newly promoted Bendel Insurance have been the surprise package in Group A of the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Bendel Insurance FC.

They top Group A with 23 points from 9 matches. They stunned former champions Akwa United 2-0 on the opening day of the season.

The Benin Arsenal, as they are called, have gone on to remain unbeaten in the first stanza of Group A.

NPFL Group A standings

Group B

Lobi Stars of Makurdi are leading in Group B of the NPFL, with 19 points from 9 games.

Lobi Stars FC

However, second-placed Rivers United have an outstanding game against Rangers International, which may alter the standings should they win.  The match will be played on Wednesday, March 22nd to complete the games of the first stanza.

With just one outstanding match involving CAF Confederation Cup participant, Rivers United, the fixtures have recorded a total of 89 games; 45 in Group A and 44 in Group B.

NPFL Group B standings.

Of the total 180 goals, teams in Group A have netted 96 times from 45 matches, while there has been 84 goals from 44 games in Group B.

Enyimba’s Chukwuemeka Obioma leads the way on the goalscoring charts in Group A, with seven (7) goals in 9 matches. In Group B, Bayelsa United’s Robert Mizode Christian leads with six (6) goals in 9.

Obioma won the NPFL Player of the Month award for February, while Bendel Insurance head coach, Monday Odigie won the Coach of the Month award.

Some teams have returned to training after observing their mid-season break, preparing for the second stanza of the abridged league.

The IMC also added a caveat providing for fixture changes when necessary to accommodate Club Licensing decisions, television broadcast schedules and CAF Inter-club fixtures.

Dates for the Super Six play-off will be determined by the IMC at an appropriate time.

 

NPFL/Chidi Nwoke.

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