Mass withdrawals, walkovers rock Aiteo Cup


Johnny Edward

The ongoing 2022 Aiteo Cup competition has been hit with several club withdrawals as its reaches the quarter-final stage, The PUNCH reports.

Speculations are rife that the teams were protesting the Nigeria Football Federation’s nomination of Kwara United of Ilorin for the CAF Confederation Cup, which is usually allotted to the winners of the Aiteo Cup.

Kwara United, who placed fourth in the NPFL last season, were listed as the country’s second representatives in the CAF Confederation Cup, as the NFF sought to beat the deadline of its clubs representatives to the Confederation of Africa.

Niger Tornadoes, who defeated Dreams FC, Enyimba and Green Beret in the preliminary rounds, walked over Lobi Stars of Makurdi, who failed to show up for their quarter-final clash in Jos on Wednesday.

Kogi United also walked over Kano Pillars — who also didn’t show up in Makurdi — and were scheduled to face the winners of the clash between Wikki Tourists and Nasarawa United, but both the Solid Miners and the Tourists failed to turn up in Kaduna, which sealed Kogi United’s place in the final of the competition next Wednesday.

Kogi United will now play the winners of the semi-final tie between Niger Tornadoes and Heartland.

Heartland defeated Enugu Rangers 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out after regulation time ended goalless on Thursday morning, the media officer of the Naze Millionaires Solomon Onu told The PUNCH.

This was after both clubs refused to dress up for the clash in Ilorin a day earlier.

Heartland had edged Dakkada and Katsina United in their previous rounds of the competitions.

This year’s finals of the Aiteo Cup for both men and women’s events hold at the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa August 17.

Champions Rivers United and Plateau United will play in the CAF Champions League, while Remo Stars and Kwara United who ended in third and fourth position in the NPFL, will also campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup.