Which team has won the most NPFL fixtures?

Which team has won the most NPFL fixtures?
Photo by Icon sport

NPFL fixtures were since 2014, but we address the issue, let’s look at the league.

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) is the premier football league in the country. It has gone through many phases as the football governing body in the country arrived at its current form – NPFL.

Let’s quickly go through the different phases it has been through. The NPFL is ranked 12th in Africa behind the likes of Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and South Africa.

The highest Nigerian football league started in 1972, with Mighty Jets of Jos as the inaugural winners and Rangers International of Enugu as runners-up.

There are 20 teams in the league. They each play 38 NPFL fixtures every season aside from the 2022/23 and 2018/19 seasons.

The NPFL fixtures come before the season starts, but over time the organisers have always had financial issues that hamper the dates for the kick-off.

The last nine seasons have seen 300 NPFL fixtures played (including playoff games) and have produced several winners.

We have chosen these seasons because that is when the league became known as the Nigeria Professional Football League.

Covid 19 brought the 2020 season to an abrupt end. Administrative issues saw the league concluded at Week 24.

The metamorphosis of the football league

The National Football League came to being in 1972. The name changed to Nigerian National League – First Division in 1979, with Bendel Insurance as the first winner.

In 1990 Iwuanyanwu Nationale won the title as it became Nigerian Professional League. When it became Nigeria Premier League in 1993, Iwuanyanwu Nationale won it again. Julius Berger took its turn in 2000 when it became the Nigerian Premiership.

There was another name change in 2003, with Enyimba winning the New Nigeria Premier League. In 2014, it arrived at its current name Nigeria Professional Football League, with Kano Pillars as the first winner.

The big question is, since the latest name change, who has won the most NPFL fixtures?

Which team has won the most NPFL fixtures?

Of all the teams in the NPFL fixtures, only two have participated in every season – Enyimba of Aba & Enugu Rangers.

Despite featuring in all the seasons, only Enyimba has played all available NPFL fixtures, with Enugu Rangers playing coming in second. The Flying Antelopes failed to make it to the 2023 playoffs (Naija Super Six)

Rivers United came into being in 2016 after the governor of Rivers merged Sharks of Port Harcourt and Dolphins (two state-owned teams).

Kano Pillars missed the 2022/23 season after being relegated the season before. Plateau United did not participate in the first two seasons of the NPFL.

The top six teams with the most NPFL fixtures wins

NPFL fixtures
Photo by Icon sport

Plateau United

The Jos team have become a consistent side in the NPFL. The high-flying side saw their efforts yield fruit in 2017 when they won the NPFL. Of the 300 NPFL fixtures, Plateau featured in 214 and won 106 to put them at number six.

Akwa United

At number five is the Uyo-based side Akwa United. In the nine seasons on offer, they played eight. They played 295 NPFL fixtures and won 103.

Rivers United

Despite missing two seasons due to not being existent, the Port Harcourt-based side managed a decent win average. Rivers United played 219 NPFL fixtures and won 103.

Enugu Rangers

Enugu Rangers is in at number three. Despite playing all the seasons, they did not dominate like in the early days. The Flying Antelopes were involved in 295 NPFL fixtures and managed 121 wins. It shows a 41% win ratio.

Kano Pillars

The Sai Masu Gida is in the second spot. The Kano-based side won 123 games in 277 matches. It represents a 44.4% win ratio.

Enyimba

At the top of the list is the people’s Elephant. Enyimba is the only team to play all 300 matches of the NPFL in the last ten seasons. The Aba side is the only Nigerian team to win the CAF Champions League (Twice) won the NPFL in 2015, 2019 and 2023. They won 134 matches.

Extra

Most goals scored in the NPFL

  1. Enyimba              – 343
  2. Enugu Rangers    – 335
  3. Pillars                 – 323
  4. Akwa Utd            – 276
  5. Plateau Utd         – 252
  6. Rivers Utd           – 250

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.