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Editorials, Sports

Unilorin League: Nigeria’s topmost Varsity League

The league was established in 2016,  running through the 2016/2017 academic session of the University.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 29th May 2023
University of Ilorin Football League (UFL) unveils its cutting-edge mobile app, making it easier than ever for students to stay in the game.

University football in Nigeria can be traced back to the mid-20th century when universities began forming football teams to participate in intercollegiate competitions. The University of Ibadan, established in 1948, is often credited as being one of the first Nigerian universities to organize football matches among its students.


 In 1966, the Nigerian University Sports Association (NUSA) was founded, which later transformed into the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA). NUGA became the official body responsible for organizing and overseeing sports activities, including football, among Nigerian universities.


The NUGA Games, inaugurated in 1968, became an annual multi-sport event where universities from different regions of Nigeria compete in various disciplines, including football. The NUGA Games serve as a platform to showcase the talents of student-athletes and foster healthy competition between universities.


There have been several inter-school tournaments held in Nigeria but the University of Ilorin Students Union has gone further to establish an organized league that runs every session.




The University of Ilorin football league (UFL) has been pivotal to the development of aspiring pro footballers who are undergraduates of the varsity over the last 7 years. The league was established in 2016,  running through the 2016/2017 academic session of the University.


UFL was created mainly because of the need to keep undergraduate footballers in shape, create a sense of competitiveness between clubs, and also an avenue for students to practicalize modern-day Sports administration/coaching. 


The League has twelve teams participating in it and it’s played in a regular league format bar the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons where lack of time made by the League Organizers (LBC) opted for an abridged format.


Since its inception in 2016, the league has produced three winners namely; City Boys FC (2016/2017, 2019/2020, and 2020/2021), Marine FC (2017/2018), and H-High FC (2018/2019).

As regards administration, the tournament is organized and maintained by the League Board Committee (a fifteen-man crew).




The university league has had several impacts, both on the host University and the broader community. Here are some impacts of the university league:


  • Sports Development: The university league provides a platform for students to engage in competitive sports and develop their athletic abilities. It promotes physical fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship among the participants.


  • Campus Spirit And Engagement: The league has fostered a sense of community and club pride within the participating teams. It brings students, faculties, departments, and staff together to support their respective teams, creating a lively and spirited campus atmosphere.


  • Academic And Athletic Balance: Participating in the university league encourages students to balance their academic responsibilities with their passion for sports. It promotes time management, discipline, and the ability to excel in multiple areas of life


  • Talent Identification And Development: The league has served as a talent pool, allowing the university to identify promising athletes who have the potential to compete at higher levels. It provides a pathway for athletes to be scouted by professional teams or national sports organizations.


  • Networking And Social Connections: The league offers opportunities for students to interact and build relationships with peers from other faculties and departments. It fosters social connections, cultural exchange, and networking among participants.




The UFL has helped build a formidable football team for the school called THE UNILORIN WARRIORS over the years. The Unilorin Warriors are one of the most successful school football teams in Nigeria, winning medals at almost every tournament they have participated in. The league’s continuity also helps transition when necessary, easing the scouting work for the coaches.


2017 NUGA – Silver in Football 

2019 Jamb Cup Winners

2019 HiFL Third Place

2022 NUGA – Gold in Football 

2022 HiFL Fourth Place

Several players have turned professionals due to participation in the league, playing both locally and internationally. An example is Abdulateef Muritala who is a youngster with NPFL side Kwara United and former Unilorin captain Ajao Sodiq Olanrewaju who now plays his trade with Union sport de Cavaliers de Nikki in the Championnat National du Bénin.


The 2021/2022 season is currently ongoing on the University campus.


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