Benin-based club Bendel Insurance and Doma United of Gombe state have both secured their spot in the first tier of the Nigerian League (NPFL) today and will participate in the Super four tournaments, which will be held among the four top teams of each group.
Bendel Insurance qualification was confirmed today when arch-rival Gateway lost to Vandrezzer FC by 3-1 in Lagos, which gives Bendel automatic qualification. Bendel Insurance will lead the log with 9 points lead should they win their match with two matches to spare on the log.
Doma United gained promotion from their 2-0 victory over Jigawa Goldens during the 20th round of group A2 fixtures. They have now secured 36 points which have given them 8 points clear of close rival Jigawa Goldens with two games to end the season.
Group A1’s top team is yet to be decided with El Kanemi Warriors, Sokoto and Abuja FC having closer points with 9 to 12 points available to still play for.
Group B2 has three competitors who are jostling for the top as well. Warri Wolves, Bayelsa United and Crown FC are top contenders in this group.
A media person from the Nigeria National League after being contacted by The News Chronicles said:
There will no longer be Super Eight leagues to determine the winner of the season, rather it will be Super four which will be played among the top four teams to determine the NNL Champions this season.
Last season after the completion of all games in each group, the Super Eight tournament was hosted in Enugu, a neutral venue where Niger Tornadoes (Ikon Allah) defeated Shooting Stars to clinch the title. It was during this tournament that the four clubs (Niger Tornadoes, Shooting, Remo and Gombe United) which seek promotion to NPFL were determined.
The tournament which comprises eight teams (two top teams from each group) has now been streamlined to only four teams(top teams from each group).
Bendel Insurance last played in the NPFL in 2019 after suffering ten years absence.
An owner crisis rocked the team, which led to the state government taking complete charge of the club and having its name changed from Vipers of Benin to Bendel Insurance.
Doma FC which was established in 1994, in their first ever NNL participation got promoted to the NPFL.