Aiteo Cup: Crisis Looms As NFF ‘Secretly’ Hands Kwara United Confed Cup Slot
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) may be set for a fresh crisis following the discreet submission of Kwara United as the country’s fourth representative to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
It will be noted that every CAF member country is allocated a number of slots for clubs to take part in both CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup.
With this, Nigeria based on our ranking was allocated four slots with three top clubs from the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and winner of the Federation Cup expected to represent the country at the competitions.
Ahead of next season, NPFL Champions, Rivers United and second-placed Plateau United will represent Nigeria at the CAF Champions League while Remo Stars who finished third is to play at the CAF Confederation Cup.
The other slot, which is reserved for the winner of the Aiteo Cup that is yet to be concluded has been given to Kwara United who are already jubilating.
It was reliably gathered that the NFF has written Kwara United about the latest development with the CAF club competitions’ draw set for today and this has led the remaining eight clubs participating in the ongoing FA Cup to threaten to pull out at the quarter-final stage of the contest.
The clubs are Niger Tornadoes, Lobi Stars, Wikki Tourists, Nasarawa United, Heartland FC, Katsina United, Kogi United and Kano Pillars.
Due to CAF’s timeline, which the NFF failed to meet up, the federation had only two options, which was to cancel the 2022 Aiteo cup and nominate the Aiteo Cup defending champions, Bayelsa Utd or nominate the highest rank team in the league that had not qualified for either the Champions League or Confederation Cup.
It will be recalled also that in 2002, Kano Pillars who were the Cup holders were automatically registered by NFF for the Confederation Cup after that season’s Aiteo Cup was cancelled due to COVID-19 disruptions.
According to the President of NPFL Club Owners Association, Barr. Isaac Danladi, the clubs have expressed their displeasure and are threatening to pull out of the competition if the NFF fails to address this issue.
“In as much as we are not against the nomination of Kwara United FC, we however express our displeasure over the nomination because the slot is designed for the winner of the Aiteo Cup.
“More particularly that the slot according to CAF is meant for the FA cup winners and NFF having set a precedent before now with Kano Pillars FC.
As at the time of filling this report, NFF leadership has neither commented nor clarified the latest development as Daily Trust couldn’t reach the NFF’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi who didn’t respond to a text message sent to him.
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