The Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) board has confirmed that the Nigeria Women Premier League (NWPL) will kick off its 2019 season on July 17, 2019.
The NWFL announced the kickoff date after the ratification of the congress, which had Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) second vice-president Shehu Dikko and board member Ibrahim Gusau in attendance in Abuja on Thursday.
In her opening remarks, chairperson Aisha Falode congratulated the league champions Bayelsa Queens, while recounting the achievements under her leadership on and off-field in the last 12 months.
“The Nigeria Women’s Premier League players helped the Super Falcons grabbed the 2018 Wafu Cup title in Cote’d Ivoire,” she told the congress.
“We had seven of the league players were regulars in the Falcons team that won the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations title in Accra, Ghana.
“Also, we had four of these players were signed on by top clubs in Europe at the end of the season.”
According to Falode, the champions of the 2019 season will travel to Spain as part of its recent partnership with La Liga for an international tournament, which will be held on a yearly basis.
Among decisions reached, the Congress ratified that the new season shall be played on an abridged league format basis of four clubs each in four groups, to make up for the lost time and to also properly fund the indemnities of the season.
It resolved that the winners of each of the four groups will play a Super Four tournament to determine the overall winner of the season.
The Congress further confirmed that the last team in each of the four groups will go for a playoff to determine the two teams which will be relegated to the second division at the end of the season.
In Group A, Rivers Angels were drawn with Osun Babes, Delta Queens and FC Robo, while Group B was made up of Dream Stars Ladies, Heartland Queens, Adamawa Queens and Edo Queens.
Bayelsa Queens, Sunshine Queens, Nasarawa Amazons and Jokodolu Babes were pooled in Group C, while Confluence Queens, Abia Angels, Invincible Angels and Ibom Angels were pitched in Group D.
For fixtures, defending champions Bayelsa Queens will open their defence against Jokodolu in Yenegoa, while runners-up Nasarawa Amazons will be guest to Sunshine Queens on July 17.
Also the same day, Confluence Queens welcome Ibom Angels, Invincible Angels visit Abia Angels in Umuahia, Dream Star Ladies play hosts to Edo Queens in Lagos.
In other opening games, Adamawa Queens travel to Owerri to face Heartland Queens, Rivers Angels take on Robo Queens in Port Harcourt and Delta Queens go away to Osun Babes.
Bayelsa Queens are the defending champions of the NWPL following a 2-0 Super Four final victory over Nazarawa Amazons in Lagos in January 2019.