FA Cup: Clubs Abandon Competition To Protest NFF’s Controversial Decision
This year’s edition of the Federation Cup also known as Aiteo Cup has come to an abrupt end following the decision of the clubs that have reached the quarter-final stage to pull out of the competition to protest the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to pick Kwara United as Nigeria’s representatives in the Confederation Cup.
The clubs threatened on Monday, that they would be left with no option than to withdraw, if the NFF fails to explain to them why it picked Kwara United to join Remo Stars in the Confederation Cup without due consultation.
Recall that winners of the FA Cup usually take the remaining Confederation Cup, but since the current edition was ongoing and CAF’s deadline of July 31 for entries of clubs had expired, the NFF said it decided to forward the name of Kwara United who had finished fourth in the 2022 NPFL season.
However, those opposed to the decision are asking why NFF did not explore one of the available options which allows federations to forward the name of FA Cup holders to CAF.
In this case, even as they have been eliminated from the current edition, Bayelsa United are still the reigning champions of the FA Cup and it is said their name should have been sent to CAF by the NFF.
Due to the inability of the NFF to explain to the clubs why it took that controversial decision, all the quarter-finalists, on Tuesday morning, left their designated match venues.
The clubs are also angry that they have been made to waste their time, energy and resources for nothing.
If not for the sudden withdrawal, Niger Tornadoes would have battled Lobi Stars in Jos, Kano Pillars against Kogi United in Makurdi, Wikki Tourists would have faced Nasarawa United in Kaduna, while the last quarter-final match between Heartland and Katsina United would have taken place in Ilorin.
Meanwhile, following Tuesday’s draws by CAF, Kwara United who are at the centre of the face-off between the NFF and the NPFL clubs have been drawn against AS Douanes of Niger Republic in the preliminary round of the Confederation Cup.
In other draws, Rivers United and Plateau United have been pitched with Watanga FC Liberia and AS Stade Mandji of Gabon respectively in the preliminary Round of the Champions League.
Nigeria’s other club in the Confederation Cup, Remo Stars, will square up with ASFAR of Morocco.
Preliminary matches will kick-off in the first week of September.
Source: News Express