Club owners threaten Aiteo Cup withdrawal


…as NFF pick Kwara United for Confed Cup


Johnny Edward and Tunde Oyekola, Ilorin

There’s been a massive reaction following the Nigeria Football Federation’s decision to list Nigerian Professional Football League club, Kwara United, as one of the country’s representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, The PUNCH reports.

The Confederation of Africa Football on Sunday confirmed Kwara United as Nigeria’s second representatives in the competition, ahead of the draw billed for Tuesday (today) in Egypt.

Remo Stars are the other team representing Nigeria in the Confederation Cup, while Rivers United and Plateau United file out in the CAF Champions League.

Kwara finished fourth in the NPFL last season, missing out on a chance to play on the continent. They also crashed out the in the round of 32 of the ongoing Aiteo Cup competition after losing 4-3 on penalties to Wikki Tourists, after a hard-fought 90 minutes ended 1-1.

Usually, the third-place NPFL side, as well as winners of the Aiteo Cup represented the country in the CAF Confederation Cup but Kwara announced on their Twitter handle Monday that the NFF had entered their name for the competition.

“Jubilation as Kwara United will play in the CAF Confederations Cup for finishing fourth in #NPFL22 Season. CAF released participating Club on Sunday night. @thenff picked @KwaraUnitedFC due to the CAF registration deadline as Aiteo Cup is still ongoing. The draw is on Tuesday in Egypt,” the Afonja Warriors tweeted.

However, the news caused uproar in the football sector, with fans taking to social media to question the NFF’s decision.

It was learnt that clubs competing in the Aiteo Cup, which is in its quarter-final stage may pull out of the competition.

The remaining clubs are Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists, Nasarawa United, Heartland, Katsina United, Kogi United and Kano Pillars.

President of the NPFL Club Owners Association, Issac Danladi, said they had contacted the NFF following the “shocking decision.”

“We are expecting their response, otherwise the eight clubs in the quarter-finals will have no other option than to stop further participation and withdraw from the Aiteo Cup.

“In view of the circumstances, we urge clubs affected by this development to remain calm and await further necessary action as our decision is premised on the doctrines of justice, equity and fair play as injustice to one is an injustice to all.”

When our correspondent contacted the federation’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, he declined to comment on the issue.

“I don’t know anything about that. I am not in the country,” Sanusi said.

Meanwhile, the Kwara State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria has described the continental ticket handed to Kwara as a reward for government’s commitment to the team and sports development generally.