Nigeria Professional Football League: How it all started

Nigeria Professional Football League: How it all started

The 2015/2016 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) has come and gone, leaving fond memories, especially for the accompanying theatrics that left indelible marks in fans’ memory. It is obvious that the league is gradually worming itself back into the hearts of the football fans in the country which was not the feeling before when the league went to its lowest point. The league’s matches began in Nigeria in 1972 with six teams with Mighty Jets of Jos winning the maiden edition.

On 12 May 1990 at the Onikan Stadium Lagos, the league was renamed “Professional League’’ with the goal to reposition the game and make the clubs self-sufficient. Decrees 10 and 11 of 1989 that set up the defunct NFA also codified the introduction of professional football in Nigeria stipulates that professional clubs run as limited liability companies with each governed by a regularly constituted board of directors. It also required it to hold annual general meetings, present independently audited accounts, cultivate youth/feeder teams and own their own stadium within five years of registration with the Pro League Department. In order to assist Pro League clubs in the timely achievement of these stated goals, all 56 professional clubs that constituted the inaugural Pro League First and Second Division were granted a five-year tax moratorium on all income starting from 1990.

The premier league era in Nigeria began in 2003 when the defunct Nigeria Football Association (NFA), then chaired by Ibrahim Galadima, inaugurated an Interim Committee to run the league. After the 2006 competition, the league changed its calendar to more closely match the common European format regular season structure starting around August and ending around May.

In 2012, the League Management Company was formed following the collapse of the Nigeria Premier League, organised by the Nigeria Football League (NFL) as result of intractable legal, contractual, administrative and financial impediments. Read more

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