Nigeria National League

The Nigeria National League (formerly National Division 1) is the second tier of club football in Nigeria.

Nigeria National League
Founded1979 (reorganized 1991)
Number of teams43
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toNigerian Professional Football League
Relegation toNigeria Nationwide League
Domestic cup(s)Nigerian FA Cup
Most championshipsDolphins/Eagle Cement (3)
Kada City FC of Kaduna


From 1997-2011, the league has been split into 1A for Northern teams and 1B for southern teams. The top two from each division are promoted to the Nigerian Premier League the next season. The exceptions were the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons where there were four divisions of eight teams each, with each division winner winning promotion. Up to four teams in each division are relegated each season to the Amateur First Division. The league was renamed June 19, 2008. In 2012 the league expanded from 32 to 36 teams with 2 more teams promoted. The league used the 2006 format, with four divisions of nine teams each, with division winners receiving automatic promotion. In 2012-13, it went back to two divisions of sixteen. For the 2015 season, it use four divisions of eight teams.

2019 season

The 2019 Nigeria National League (NNL) kicked off on April 23, and came to an end in the first week of July 2019. There were originally supposed to be four groups, but a week before the season they divided again into eight. The eventual group winners play another in a playoff (1 vs 2, 3 vs 4) to determine the four teams winning promotion.

2018 season

Season was scheduled to be played April to September, with break in July for World Cup.[1] Teams in bold promoted to the 2019 NPFL.

2017 season

Teams in bold promoted to 2018 NPFL season

2016 season

Season began May 7 and ended in October[2] Teams in bold won promotion to 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League

  • Group A1: Sokoto united, Kaduna United, Kogi United, Shekarau Babes(Kano), Katsina United, Yarmalight, Mighty Jets, Jigawa Golden Stars
  • Group A2: Adamawa United, Kwara United, FC Taraba, Wikki Feeders, Supreme Court FC, Dreams FC (Makurdi), Gombe United, FC Zamfara
  • Group B1: Remo Stars, COD United, Delta Force F.C., Prime, Go Round, UNICEM Rovers, Akwa Starlets, Abia Comets
  • Group B2: ABS FC, Crown, Cofine FC, J. Atete, Bayelsa United, First Bank, Gateway, Bendel Insurance

Past winners

The league was a single table until 1998. Between 1998-2011 winners of the North and South divisions played a one-game playoff to determine the overall Division champion. 2011-2017 the champion was determined by a Super Four mini-league between the four promoted teams. In 2018 it was a Super Eight to pick the four teams.

See also


  1. "NNL to enforce zero tolerance for corruption, bad match officiating — Chairman - Vanguard News". 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  2. "National League to commence May 7". 6 April 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. "Niger Tornadoes FC beat Plateau United to win NNL Super-4 tournament". Vanguard News. 29 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. "Katsina United win 2016 NNL Super Four title -". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
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