NPFL readjusts fixtures for nail-biting title run-in

The Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has undergone revisions to its calendar for the final stages of the 2023/24 season.

These adjustments, according to the league body, were deemed necessary due to instructions from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) regarding the commencement of the preliminary rounds of their inter-clubs competitions for next season.

Remo Stars XI
Photo by Remo Media

Following Match-day 32, the league was temporarily suspended to accommodate Rivers United, who had outstanding games due to their involvement in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederations Cup.

Additionally, it provided an opportunity for teams in the top tier to partake in the President’s Cup, Nigeria’s equivalent of the FA Cup.

With Rivers United completing their outstanding fixtures and receiving communication from CAF, the NPFL has decided to rearrange the fixtures to align with CAF's timelines.

In a circular signed and released by NPFL's Chief Operating Officer, Davidson Owumi, the league body announced that the competition would resume with Match Day 33 on Sunday, May 26, while the final day games will be held on June 23, 2024.

The circular, distributed to all 20 NPFL clubs, stated:

“Having considered the circular from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) scheduling preliminary club competition matches to start on August 16, we are seeking to arrange our remaining fixtures to be concluded during such a period to allow our clubs up to two months of preparatory time to participate in the CAF club matches.”

“Pursuant to the above, we have solicited and secured one midweek window from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) from their President Federation Cup fixtures. Wednesday, June 12, will thus host our Match Day 36 fixtures, concluding with the last games of the season on June 23. It is our wish and expectation that there will be no further disruption of our schedule as we resume on Sunday, May 26, with Match Day 33 fixtures.”

The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) also released the remaining fixtures for the 2024 season, with the final four match-days set to take place on consecutive Sundays.

Enyimba third kit
Photo by Enyimba Media

Calendar for the rest of the season

The league campaign will culminate on June 23rd, with a full slate of games on Match Day 38. Match Day 34 kicks off on June 2nd, followed by Match Day 35 on June 9th.

Rounding out the season, Match Days 37 and 38 will be played on June 16th and June 23rd respectively.

In the latest NPFL standings, Rangers International lead the table with 57 points, closely followed by Remo Stars in second place with 56 points, while reigning champions Enyimba are in third place with 53 points.

On the other end, the four bottom teams are Gombe United, Heartland, Akwa United, and Sunshine Stars.

The adjustments to the schedule aim to ensure a smooth conclusion to the season, allowing Nigerian clubs adequate preparation for the upcoming CAF competitions.

These fixtures mark a critical phase of the NPFL season, with both the title race and the battle to avoid relegation intensifying.

Here are the fixtures for Match-day 33, all scheduled to be played on Sunday pending any last-minute changes:

Chijioke Mbaoma wheels away in celebration
Photo by Enyimba Media

Match-day 33 fixtures

Home Time Away
Kwara United 16:00 Remo Stars
Lobi Stars 16:00 Akwa United
Rivers United 16:00 Sporting Lagos
Plateau United 16:00 Niger Tornadoes
Katsina United 16:00 Shooting Stars
Rangers International 16:00 Bayelsa United
Sunshine Stars 16:00 Bendel Insurance
Kano Pillars 16:00 Doma United
Abia Warriors 16:00 Enyimba
Heartland 16:00 Gombe United

All matches slated for Sunday, May 26, 2024

NPFL readjusts fixtures for nail-biting title run-in
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

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