Meet the four teams promoted to the Nigeria Premier League


By Toby Prince


With the relegation tussle in the Nigeria Professional Football League still undecided, teams in the Nigeria National League seemed to have gone about their businesses seriously, as the four slots up for grabs in the top flight have already been guaranteed.

Bayelsa United, Taraba United, Kwara United and Dolphins are currently stuck in the drop zone while Sharks, Akwa United and Lobi Stars are still uncertain about their Premier League status.

Here are the four teams newly promoted to the NPFL

  1. Ikorodu United FC

Ikorodu FC made history by gaining promotion to the elite division after just a single season in the National League. The team edged Ekiti United 1-0 at their Onikan Stadium home ground to join Mountain of Fire FC as the two representatives from Lagos state.

The Nigerian football community was in shock when respected, well travelled and decorated Belgian coach, Maurice Cooreman, took over the helm of affairs at the club in March.

Six months on, the tactician stunned everyone by achieving an unbelievable feat, as his less fancied team will now be rubbing shoulders with the very best in the country.

Cooreman who won the Premier League title in 2006 and 2007 with Ocean Boys and Enyimba will be hoping for another upset in the top flight come the 2015/16 season.

“I want to praise my players and the sponsors for the promotion of Ikorodu United. We worked hard to achieve this feat as a team.

“My target was to get Ikorodu United to the Premier League and I am excited we have achieved promotion.”

  1. Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football Club (MFM FC)

Another debutant in the NPFL, Mountain of Fire, along with Ikorodu United, broke a long standing jinx-becoming the first Lagos-based clubs to play in the top tier in 22 years.

Owned by the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, MFM FC was founded in 2007 and against all odds, sealed a spot in the NPFL, becoming the first club owned by a church to compete at that level in Nigerian football.

Chairman, Godwin Enakhena, said the club was careful in ensuring that they got promoted at the right time. In fact promotion was made possible courtesy of two away wins, a rare feat in Nigerian football.

“Our promotion to the Nigerian Premier League is about repositioning the youths and playing football without violence. Since the 2006/07 season, we’ve been consistent,” Enakhena said.

“We knew what we wanted but we were taking it one step at a time, waiting for a time the atmosphere will be good enough to plunge into the topflight. Now things are looking better. Shehu Dikko and his team are doing a great job in the League Management Company.”

An elated Nigeria Football Federation vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi, who also doubles as Chairman of the Lagos State FA, revealed that there was an offer for money to exchange hands for promotion, which the football body declined.

“It’s been a dream to be part of this anointing. Lagos hasn’t had a team in the Premier League since 1993. Someone told me that in my time (as LSFA boss), we will get back to the NPFL and now we have two clubs. People offered us money to pay referees but we turned them down because things must be done the right way,” Akinwunmi said.

  1. Niger Tornadoes

After being relegated in 2012, Niger Tornadoes won promotion back to the NPFL with a 2-0 defeat of Mighty Jets in Minna.

The victory meant the club secured top flight football ahead of Gombe United, ABS and Mighty Jets in a seven-team race.

Tornadoes head coach, Abdullahi Biffo, was full of joy after steering a second team to the top flight in three years.

“I am a fulfilled man as we are going to play in the Premier League next season, and I thank all that supported me. I did it for Giwa FC and I’m happy that I have done it again for Niger Tornadoes.”


  1. Plateau United FC

The last of the quartet, Plateau United gained promotion to the elite division following a 2-1 win over Spotlight of Katsina at the weekend.

After a five-year absence from the topflight, the club returned to the NPL by the slimiest of margins after piping closest rivals Adamawa United on goal differences.

Adamawa also won 2-1 at Supreme Court of Abuja, but lost out on goals difference to Plateau after both teams finished on 29 points each. Plateau finished with +15, while Adamawa were on +7.