The draw for the Nigeria Professional Football League 2018-19 season was conducted in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday night.
The draw was supervised by the Chief Operating Officer of the League Management Company, Salihu Abubakar and it witnessed an increase in the number of teams in the top-flight from 20 to 24 with the decision not to relegate any team from the premier league last season while still accommodating the four newly promoted teams from the Nigeria National League.
As was outlined in the circular from the LMC that the forthcoming season will be abridged, the 24 teams have been paired into two groups with 12 teams in each group and they were grouped based on the luck of the draw with the exception of Lobi Stars and Akwa United who were seeded and were not allowed to be in the same group.
Wikki Tourists, Rivers United, Enugu Rangers, Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Katsina United, Kwara United, Sunshine Stars, Enyimba and MFM were drawn into Group A and they will still await two promoted teams from the NNL to complete 12.
On the other hand, Yobe Desert Stars, Go Round, Nasarawa United, Abia Warriors, Plateau United, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Kano Pillars, Heartland, Akwa United, and El Kanemi Warriors are in Group B and they are to be joined later by another two teams that emerged from the NNL also to make it 12 teams also.
The date for the resumption of the NPFL has not been made public with the December 1 and 2 projected dates seemed to have been jettisoned as the NNL season is yet to be concluded among other germane issues.
Lobi Stars are the defending champions of the league having emerged victorious by default when the Nigerian football stakeholders agreed that the season should be brought to its end because of the feud in the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation post-2018 World Cup finals in Russia and they will represent Nigeria in the Caf Champions League.
THE NPFL 2018-19 DRAW AT A GLANCE
GROUP A TEAMS
GROUP B TEAMS
Yobe Desert Stars
FC Ifeanyi Ubah
El Kanemi Warriors