Defending champions Enyimba of Aba will host Federation Cup champions Bendel Insurance in one of the high-profile match-day one fixtures of the 2023/24 Nigeria Professional Football League season, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The draw for the new season, which begins September 9, was conducted in Abuja on Tuesday with other exciting fixtures on the opening weekend which will see last season’s runners-up, Remo Stars face 2022 champions, Rivers United in Ikenne.
In the other match-day one fixtures, newcomers Sporting Lagos will play their first game of the NPFL at home against Gombe United just as Katsina United will also face Kwara United in Ilorin on their return to the top flight.
Four-time champions, Kano Pillars, who are also back from the second tier, will open their campaign against Sunshine Stars in Akure. Elsewhere in Ibadan, Shooting Stars will host Plateau United in a reverse of their opening day encounter last season while another newly promoted side Heartland will welcome Lobi Stars.
There is also a South-South derby between Bayelsa United and Akwa United, Abia Warrior will trade tackles with Niger Tornadoes while Rangers up against Doma United completes the match-day one fixtures.
According to the NPL board, over 300 matches out of the 380 games will be streamed in the incoming season with AI cameras which are being installed and tested in 10 venues across the country.
As a result, the NPL board has prevented the clubs from streaming their own matches, reserving the rights exclusively for the broadcast partners.
“Let me also use this very opportune occasion to appeal to our club leaders here to offer all required support to the Propel Sports Africa team as they start. Firstly, is that all individual club streaming activity is no longer allowed as clubs will be offered the data of all their matches including individual analytics for each player,” Elegbeleye said in his address.
It’s the first season the new Nigeria Premier League board will be organizing after overseeing the abridged league last season in an interim capacity.