The 2020/21 NPFL Roundup and Nigeria’s Tokyo Adventure.

Akwa United Wins Big

The 2020/21 Nigerian Professional Football League came to an exciting end on Thursday, 5th of August 2021.

After a 38-round series of home and away matches, Akwa United emerged victorious with 71 points.

The Uyo-based team took to the streets after they were confirmed runaway league champions after week 37.

The win proved particularly important to the club’s history. This would be the first time the team will be winning the nation’s prime silverware.

Continental Spots

Another team that ended up as a big winner in the just concluded competition is Rivers United.

After losing their final game of the season, it was all but confirmed that they would finish in 6th place and consequently miss out on the league’s continental spots. Fate, however, had a different plan as they were awarded three points and three goals by the Nigerian Football Federation disciplinary committee on that same Thursday. This came as a result of a disputed match against Jigawa Golden Stars where the Dutse-based club fielded an illegible player.

And consequently, these 3 points were enough to move Rivers United four places up. They eventually finished 2nd, displacing Enyimba FC to the 3rd position. Although Enyimba and Rivers had 66 points, Rivers pipped the defending champions courtesy of a superior goal difference.

The final standings mean Akwa United and Rivers United will represent the league in the 2021/22 CAF champions league. Enyimba, on their end, will now participate in next season’s CAF confederations cup.

Kwara United are, however, the unluckiest of all. Rivers United’s ascent means they’ll finish 4th and miss out on all continental spots.

Akure Gunners Escape Relegation

Sunshine stars on their end will find themselves lucky after escaping relegation by the whiskers.

The Ondo state-sponsored team was still languishing in the relegation zone until the final matchday where they pipped Rivers United 1-0. The result lifted them into the 16th position and consequently escaping relegation.

The result, on the other hand, condemned Jigawa Golden Stars into the second division. They join Warri Wolves, Ifeanyi Ubah FC and Adamawa United as the teams carried away by the relegation waters.

Nasarawa’s Silas Nwankwo won the Eunisell golden boot award as the league’s top scorer with 19 goals. He was declared winner, having scored lesser penalties despite being tied with Akwa United’s Charles Atshimene.

The competition recorded a 67% home win rate, 24% draw, and a meagre 9% away win.

Overall, the league, which started late last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, was quite exciting and sophisticated than its contemporaries.

Nevertheless, it still was plagued with several disputes, referee beatings, pitch invasions and the likes.

However, the League management committee and the NFF have promised that most issues that hampered the smooth sail of this season’s competition will be addressed before the commencement of the new season later this year.

Olympics comes to an end

At about 3 p.m Nigerian time on Sunday, August 8, the 2020 Olympic Games ended in Tokyo.

The United States emerged champions just ahead of China as they bagged 39 gold medals compared to China’s 38.

The US team also had 113 medals compared to China’s 88.

Team Nigeria, represented by 55 athletes, finished 74th — the eighth best among the 54 African nations represented at the Olympics.

Team Nigeria won two medals.

While Ese Brume won the bronze medal from the women’s long jump event, Blessing Oborududu won the silver medal from the wrestling event’s women’s freestyle 68kg.

The Games began on July 23 and ended on Sunday, August 8, with 93 of the 206 participating teams making it to the medals table, including 13 of the 54 from Africa.

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