NNL playoffs: Sporting Lagos, Kano Pillars, Heartland gain promotion to NPFL

KANO PILLARS, Kastina United, Heartland FC and Sporting Lagos have gained promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).

The four years secured promotion to the country’s premier football league from the ongoing Nigeria National League (NNL) playoffs, taking place in Asaba, Delta State.

Kano Pillars, Kastina United and Heartland FC of Owerri were relegated from the NPFL in the 2021/ 2022 season. They are making an immediate return to the top tier.

Sporting Lagos is a newcomer on the Nigerian football scene and will be making a first appearance in the NPFL.

Road To NNL playoffs 

The 2022/2023 NNL campaign began with a regular season with 44 clubs which were divided into 8 groups in an abridged format of both Southern and Northern Conferences.

Qualification for NNL playoffs 

The clubs that finished at the top of the eight groups, after the end of the round-robin fixtures of the regular season, qualified for the NNL playoff.

The playoff is used to determine the four teams that will gain promotion to the top tier league (NPFL) and the eventual winner of the league.

Teams that qualified for the NNL playoffs are EFCC from group A1, Katsina United from group A2, One Rocket from group B1 and Sporting Lagos from group B2.



    Others are Kano Pillars from group A3, DMD from group A4, Abeokuta Stormers from group B3 and Heartland FC from group B4.

    After series of football encounters in the ongoing NNL playoffs among the eight teams which were grouped into two groups, four teams were able to cross the hurdles to grab the tickets for the top tier league.

    The eventual winner of the league would be determined when the leaders in the two groups, Kano Pillars and Heartland, slug it out at the Stephen Keshi Memorial Stadium, Asaba, on Friday, July 7.

    The four promoted teams will replace the quartet of El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, Nasarawa United of Lafia, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and Dakkada FC of Uyo, who were relegated from the NPFL at the end of the 2022/23 abridged season.

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