Although League Management Company (LMC) on Tuesday rolled out the format for next season in the Nigeria Professional Football championship.
LMC chief operating officer, Mallam Salihu Abubakar, however, said the league will hold in two groups of 12 teams each and expected to end in May 2019, according to new regulations from the continental body, CAF.
The December 1 and 2 projected dates seemed to have been jettisoned, as the lower division, Nigeria National League (NNL) season is yet to be concluded.
However, the LMC went on to conduct the draw for the 2018-19 season was conducted in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday night.
The draw was supervised by Abubakar and it witnessed an increase in the number of teams in the top-flight from 20 to 24.
They were reminded that it is due to the decision not to relegate any team from the premier league last season while still accommodating the four newly promoted teams from the Nigeria National League.
The LMC confirmed that the forthcoming season will be abridged, the 24 teams have been paired into two groups with 12 teams in each group.
The cluybs are grouped based on the luck of the draw with the exception of Lobi Stars and Akwa United who were seeded and were not allowed to be in the same group.
Wikki Tourists, Rivers United, Enugu Rangers, Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Katsina United, Kwara United, Sunshine Stars, Enyimba and MFM were drawn into Group A and they will still await two promoted teams from the NNL to complete 12.
On the other hand, Yobe Desert Stars, Go Round, Nasarawa United, Abia Warriors, Plateau United, FC Ifeanyi Ubah, Kano Pillars, Heartland, Akwa United, and El Kanemi Warriors are in Group B.
They will also be joined later by another two teams that emerged from the NNL to make it 12 teams as well.