Niger Tornadoes of Minna, on Sunday emerged as the champion of the Nigeria’s second tier football assembly, the National League (NNL) after a hard earned 3-2 win against Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan in the final match of Super 8 league at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu.
Both teams along with the duo of Remo Stars of Ikenne and Gombe United gain promotion to the elite division, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The quartet will replace Jigawa Golden Stars, Warri Wolves, Ifeanyi Ubah United and Adamawa United who got demoted in the 2020-21 campaign from the NPFL.
Although it could have been a complete circle for the traditional fanatically followed team, ‘Old Horse’ Insurance FC of Benin lost out to Remo Stars in the Southern Conference of the mini-tournament in a hotly contested final-match day.
Prior to that, there have been behind the scene struggle for the promotion from the southern conference of the second tier league.
Remo Stars were at advantage as Insurance needed a massive three-goal difference victory to upstage the boys of Kunle Soname.
engaged in off-field activities and their final group match ended 2-2 to give the Kunle Soname lads final ticket to the elite division.
In the end, they rallied to a face-saving 2-2 draw, a result that could not guarantee safe passage to the elite league where the Benin boys have been long time being glaring absentees.
Interestingly, Niger Tornadoes (then in Group A) and Gombe United (Group B), were relegated from the NPFL together with Remo Stars in 2019. The three of them are back together in the elite division.
Bendel Insurance and El-Kanemi Warriors, who were also relegated in same season failed in the bid to return and will have another season languishing in the lower division.
In a related development, the Football Club Owners Association of Nigeria have congratulated the four clubs from the NNL who gained promotion to the Nigeria Professional Football League NPFL via the just concluded Super 8 Play-off held in Enugu.
Club owners said the four clubs showcased high level display of soccer artistry worthy to play in the top flight domestic league, the NPFL.
” We are happy to welcome you to the top flight league as worthy winners and assure you of our cooperation in the NPFL, ” Club owners said in a statement in Enugu jointly signed by the Chairman Isaac Danladi and the Executive Secretary Chief Alloy Chukwuemeka who were in Enugu to observe the Super 8 play off.
The Association urged the newly promoted clubs to speedy up their preparations cum licensing requirements in order to have a smooth take off in the Nigeria Professional Football League expected to kick off soon.
Club Owners also congratulated the leadership of the Nigeria National League NNL for a successful conclusion of the season just as it praised the government and good people of Enugu for being a good host of the Super 8 play-off.