Akwa Ibom Agog for Naija Super 8 Play-offs

June 23, 2023
Naija Super 8 Play-offs

By Dipo Olowookere

Lovers of Nigerian football are getting a back-to-back dose of exciting local football games after the conclusion of the English Premier League season last month won by Manchester City.

The grasses in the Eket Township Stadium in Akwa Ibom are about to get busy with the commencement of the much-awaited Naija Super 8 Play-offs.

The competition is starting today, Friday, June 23, 2023, a few days after the conclusion of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) won by Enyimba and the Federation Cup won by Insurance of Benin.

The play-offs will see two teams, which polled the highest number of fan votes from each of the six geo-political zones of the country during the fan voting phase of the competition, battle for the ticket to represent the zone at the main Naija Super 8 tournament slated for the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos from July 7 to 16.

Hostilities begin today with the North-Central zonal battle between City FC of Abuja and Lobi Stars of Makurdi at 1 pm. In the second match of the day, the duel for the South-West ticket will be between Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan (3SC) and Remo Stars of Ikenne at 4 pm.

All Naija Super 8 play-off matches will be live on SuperSport Football (DStv channel 205 & GOtv channel 61), SuperSport Variety 4 (DStv channel 209), and SuperSport Select 2 (GOtv ch 64).

On Saturday, Yobe Desert Stars will face Gombe United in a North-East zonal battle at 1 pm, while Enyimba FC of Aba will slug it out with Heartland FC of Owerri in what promises to be a fiery South-East derby at 4 pm.

The ever-fervent North-West derby between Kano Pillars and Katsina United will kick off at 1 pm on Sunday, while the play-offs will end with the South-South derby between Rivers United and Bendel Insurance of Benin starting at 4 pm. Each of the play-off matchdays will feature musical entertainment, with an artiste line-up of Ikpa Udo, Pasto Goody Goody and XTO.

Winners of the six matches will be joined by two wildcard teams to be unveiled by the organisers for the main Naija Super 8 tournament in July.

The finals will see clubs split into two groups to play in a tournament format. The top two teams in each group will go into the semi-finals, with the winners proceeding to the final.

Clubs will earn N3 million per match at the group stage, with semi-finalists also earning an additional N3 million for qualifying. The runners-up will earn N9 million, while the winners will go home with N25 million.

Naija Super 8 is organised by Flykite Productions in partnership with MultiChoice Nigeria, with MTN, Hero Lager, DStv, GOtv, SuperSport, Moniepoint, Pepsi and Custodian Assurance as sponsors.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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