Plateau United of Jos are the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions.
The ‘Peace boys’ as Plateau United are fondly called, won the title on the very last day of the competition, which went down to the wire, by beating last year’s champions, Rangers International of Enugu 2 – 0 at the Rwang Pam, Jos township stadium and in the process, pipped Lagos-Based Mountain of Fire and Miracles, MFM FC to second position, in what eventually turned into a two-horse race in the last few weeks of the season.
MFM FC, popularly known as ‘the Church Boys or Olukoya boys,’ had put up a spirited fight and had even believed that divine intervention would sway the title their way, but had their hopes dashed by El Kanemi Warriors of Borno who beat then by 2 – 1 to end any hopes of being crowned champions.
The Kennedy Boboye tutored side defeated incumbent champions Rangers International, with goals from Emeka Umeh and Benjamin Turba to win the much coveted NPFL trophy for the first time ever, on Saturday 9 September, 2017; a win which ensured that the trailing MFM who they were leading by only one point before the last day’s games started, were kept off their backs, as any slip would have gifted the Daniel Olukoya Boys the trophy.
MFM, on the other hand, were however handed a bitter deafeat by Laddan Bosso-tutored El Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri and had to settle for second place eventually after a hard season during which they surprised everybody with their excellent performance.
MFM gaffer Illechukwu, said that the Kennedy Boboye Plateau United Boys were worthy champions of the league.
“They are worthy champions and we congratulate them for their feat, they worked for the crown and it is theirs.
“We also have the same ambition but it is over, for now, maybe next time we will try,” he said.
Also, MFM Spokesman, Olawale Quadri, described the 2016/2017 season as great, adding that the team had accomplished its target.
“For us it is a great season because nobody gave us the chance and at the end of the day we are able to secure a continental ticket.
“We are excited getting the ticket and we promise Lagos fans a lot of surprises. For the continental ticket, we will ensure that we do well to please our fans.
“The management has promised to recruit more experienced players to prosecute the continental campaign and challenge well, I believe we will be good representatives in the continental campaign next season.
“Ultimately, recruitment of new players will be the major task ahead of the team management for now,” he said.
Plateau United wrapped up the NPFL trophy with 66 points, while MFM came second with 62 points.
The once popular Shooting Stars of Ibadan, fondly called the ‘Oluyole boys’, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, ABS FC, often known as ‘Bukola babes’ named after their founder and Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki and Remo Stars of Sagamu coached by Fatai Osho, were confirmed relegated from the Nigeria Professional Football League after they registered losses in the last day of the 2016-17 season.
ABS, who just like Remo Stars failed at their first attempt in the elite division, were defeated by Nasarawa United 2-1 while Shooting Stars lost 2-0 to Niger Tornadoes to both confirm life in the lower divisions.