Sporting Lagos ready for big stage after Naija Super 8 success

Sporting Lagos ready for big stage after Naija Super 8 success
Credit: Sporting Lagos

Nigerian league football has been resurrected thanks to the emergence of Sporting Lagos, whose unprecedented success at the Naija Super 8 tournament is bringing in new and old fans.

The Lagos-based club, founded and owned by tech millionaire Shola Akinlade and chaired by Nigeria football news journalist and analyst Godwin Enakhena, beat the big names like nine-time Nigeria Premier League champions Enyimba International, Akwa United, Lobi Stars and the groundbreaking Remo Stars to win their first ever trophy since their formation in 2022.

They are now set for their first season in the NPL which now has a new face.

Sporting Lagos beat Remo Stars to clinch Naija Super 8 title

The Naija Super 8 is a new tournament that was formed to replace pre-season for selected NPL and NNL teams.

The official website of the tournament says it was “conceived as an intervention to bring excitement back to the domestic game and engender fresh emotional investments by fans to propel the sport to higher heights in the country”.

Sporting Lagos, in its one year of existence, has brought back the excitement of being a fan of Nigerian club football and for this reason, were invited to partake in the inaugural competition. The club’s fans were the loudest all through the tournament which was held at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos, and they powered the newly formed team to the finals of the competition.

They faced off against Remo Stars, another relatively-new club that has shown the true potential of Nigerian home-based players. They had beaten the Ogun State-based team once in the tournament and the final was set to be a tense one in the new Southwest Derby that was being formed by both teams.

The Onikan Stadium was packed full of support from both sides as well as curious football fans who have been inundated with the marketing of the competition on social media and in the Nigeria football news scene.

The night ended in favour of Shola Akinlade’s Sporting Lagos, who are now expected to ride on the coattails of their maiden title in Nigerian football to cause a stir in the upcoming season of the Nigeria Premier League.

Fans react to Sporting Lagos Naija Super 8 win

Nigerian league football is now at an all-time high in patronage, with coverage and accessibility being the only barrier left to demolish.

Sporting Lagos is a big part of this renaissance and social media has reacted to their maiden title win, which also happens to be the maiden edition of Nigeria’s newest tournament, the Naija Super 8.

Many were pleasantly surprised at the turnout of fans at the Onikan Stadium to catch the final between Remo Stars and Sporting Lagos.

One Twitter user commented on a video, saying, “This is the NPFL? This is amazing to see. See crowd! The atmosphere is surreal.” Then he added, “The power of PR. It’s safe to say Sporting Lagos is reviving the Nigerian League.”

Another user called for government-owned clubs to be privatised, as Sporting Lagos showed what Nigerian football can be in the hands of private individuals. “Bet9ja Owner – Remo stars. Paystack Founder- Sporting Lagos. Government should sell ALL clubs, let’s have this excitement”, the user commented.

Nigeria news journalist, Rufai Oseni, predicted that the club will win the NPL someday. “Sporting Lagos will win the Nigerian league and Become CAF champions league winners someday!” he posted.

Nigerians are excited once again and Goalball Live will bring you all the action in the new season.

 

This article was most recently revised and updated 9 months ago

All-round lover of the beautiful game. Massive football fan, supported Arsenal for decades for reasons that are unexplainable. One day we will win the Champions League!