In 2022, Nigerian football experienced a torrid time across the board, from youth levels to senior national teams.
In what was one of the biggest unpleasant surprises of the year, the Nigerians were forced to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup without the Super Eagles, who had been prevented from qualifying by rivals Ghana.
Worse still, poor performance at AFCON earlier in the year saw the senior men’s team knocked out in the round of 16, compared to a third-place finish at the event in 2019, while the Super Eagles B-team flopped in their attempt to qualify for the African Nations Championship (CHAN).
Even the women were not left out, since they for their part, and compared to previous performances, finished fourth in the AFCON Women.
This year, however, with Nigeria represented in most football competitions, expectations are high – again, as expected.
These are the soccer events to look forward to in 2023.
1. Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL): January 8 – May 14
After months of delay following the conclusion of the 2021/22 season which Rivers United won, a new season in Nigeria’s top division league is set to take center stage. The regular season, which runs through May 14, will see 20 teams compete to reach the Super 6 playoff, with the bottom six teams competing for the trophy.
2. CAF Confederations Cup 2022/23 – The group stage begins on February 12
Being the only Nigerian club left on the mainland, united rivers They will kick off their group stage campaign on February 12 with an away game in the Republic of Congo. They are drawn in Group B with Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas, Diables Noirs from the Republic of the Congo and Motema Pembe from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
3. Africa U-20 Cup of Nations 2023: February 19 – March 11
The flying eagles will travel to Egypt in February with the idea of not only winning the Under-20 AFCON, but also qualifying for the Under-20 World Cup later in the year. They are drawn in Group A with the hosts Egypt, Mozambique and Senegal.
4. AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Resumes March 21
The super eagles will resume their qualification for AFCON 2023 scheduled to be held in Ivory Coast in January/February 2024. Nigeria currently leads Group A with six points after wins over Sierra Leone and Sao Tome and Principe. Super Eagles play Guinea-Bissau in a doubleheader in March.
5. U-17 Africa Cup of Nations 2023: April 8 – April 30
Having won this competition twice, the golden eaglets he will hope to make three when they head to Algeria later in the year. The competition will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
6. FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023: May 20 – June 11
If he flying eagles finishing as one of the top four teams in the U-20 AFCON, they will fly the Nigerian flag in Indonesia. Nigeria is a two-time U-20 World Cup finalist, finishing second in 1989 and 2005.
7. FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: July 20 – August 20
Having qualified for their ninth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup, the super hawks it will join 31 other teams in Australia and New Zealand in aiming to become the first African team to lift the title.
8. FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023: November 10 – December 2
If he golden eaglets finish as one of the top four teams in the U-17 AFCON, they will fly the Nigerian flag in Peru. Nigeria remains the most successful team in this tournament, having won it in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013, and 2015.