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Editorials, Sports

Sporting Lagos: Relegation Woes and the Road Back

Sporting Lagos have been relegated from the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) after a rollercoaster debut season.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 24th June 2024
Sporting Lagos

Sporting Lagos, nicknamed the “Tech Boys” have been relegated from the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) after a rollercoaster debut season. Their dream of establishing themselves in the top-flight turned into a nightmare, with a string of unfortunate results culminating in their descent to the Nigeria National League (NNL).


The team’s journey was a microcosm of emotions. From an eight-game winless streak and a huge win in the iconic Southwest derby (4-1 win over Remo Stars), to passionate away game support from their loyal fans, the “Noisy Lagosians,” it was a season etched in the memories of Sporting Lagos faithful.


The final blow came in a heartbreaking loss to Shooting Stars. A first-half header from former Rivers United player Christina Pyagbara sealed their fate. Sporting Lagos desperately needed a win and a favorable outcome in other matches to avoid relegation. However, their prayers remained unanswered, and the “Tech Boys” were left to rue their lack of away victories throughout the season.



This relegation serves as a bitter pill to swallow for a team brimming with promise. The club will now need to regroup, rebuild, and chart a course back to the top flight.


BOUNCE however takes a look at what the future holds for the team and what alternative routes can be taken to return to the NPFL.


Lessons Learned and a Glimmer of Hope


The story of Remo Stars offers a beacon of hope for Sporting Lagos. Relegated in 2018, Remo Stars fought their way back to the NPFL in 2021, securing second place in the NNL playoffs. Their return to the top flight has been remarkable. Not only did they finish in the top three, but they participated in the 2022-23 CAF Confederations Cup qualifying rounds, 2023-24 CAF Champions League qualifying rounds and are expected to do so (2024-25 CAF Champions League qualifying rounds) again next season. Remo Stars’ turnaround highlights the possibility of a swift return for Sporting Lagos.



Interestingly, both teams share a similar experience – Remo Stars also moved to a newly built stadium upon their return to the NPFL, mirroring Sporting Lagos’ ongoing stadium construction project.


Alternative Routes Back to the Top


Beyond the sporting battle on the pitch, there are alternative routes back to the NPFL. In 2019, Kwara United FC avoided relegation by purchasing the league slot of Delta Force.



This unorthodox approach provides a potential option for Sporting Lagos, though it hinges on a club like “Beyond Limits” being willing to sell their slot and forgo the challenges of the top division.


Looking Ahead: Rebuilding and Rebooting


The future remains uncertain for Sporting Lagos. The club management is faced with crucial decisions. Will they follow the traditional path of promotion through the NNL, or will they explore alternative routes?


Regardless of the chosen path, the “Tech Boys” must learn from their mistakes in the NPFL. Building a strong squad with a winning mentality, coupled with a focus on away performances, will be vital for their return journey.

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