Sports

April 19, 2024

Nigeria’s FA Cup renamed ‘The President Federation Cup’

Stakeholders at the unveiling of ‘The President Federation Cup’ (formerly Federation Cup in Nigeria) at Westhood Hotel Ikoyi on Friday.

Stakeholders at the unveiling of ‘The President Federation Cup’ (formerly Federation Cup in Nigeria) in Lagos on Friday.

The Federation (FA) Cup, a Nigerian domestic football tournament, with teams drawn from the 36 states and the FCT, has been renamed ‘The President Federation Cup’.

The renaming took place on Friday at a ceremony attended by the organisers and stakeholders at the Westhood Hotel Ikoyi, Lagos.

The tournament, which began in 1945 as the Challenge Cup and later renamed the Federation Cup, will henceforth be known as `The President Federation Cup’.

The GTI Asset Management, strategic partners to the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, and the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, in partnership with the Ministry of Sports Development jointly renamed the Federation Cup, FA.

FG reacts

Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan-Enoh, applauded GTI Asset Management for taking on the responsibility of the cup.

He also urged stakeholders to focus on restoring the glory of the tournament.

The minister said: “Nigeria has a rich football history. It is optimised by prestigious competitions like the Challenge Cup, which has captivated the nation since 1945. It has been renamed over the years.

“Today we gather to relaunch it as The President Federation Cup. We didn’t call it Bola Ahmed Tinubu Cup. But we want this name to be timeless by using the highest office in the land.

“I am pleased with GTI Asset Management. By signing the agreement with GTI, we aim to re-establish the benefits of this partnership, developing the grassroots, creating employment for approximately 500,000 Nigerians engaging over 100,000,000 enthusiasts.”

Private sector needed

Furthermore, the minister urged the private sector stakeholders to borrow a leaf from GTI and adopt a sport to enhance all-round development in sports.

“With our enormous population, we all can’t play football. I want to urge all stakeholders to emulate what the GTI group is doing with football through the NFF and NPFL.

“Let’s use this medium to showcase Nigeria’s greatness globally. The President Federation Cup is one of President Tinubu’s legacy of championing Nigerian football,” he said.

Similarly, NFF’s President, Ibrahim Gusau, lauded the GTI group for daring to do the important with Nigeria football.

“When I heard of the GTI initiative, I had to dedicate time. I was at their office for four hours and I asked all mind-boggling questions. They were able to give me answers.

“I applaud them for taking this on. And I wish them success as they take on The President Federation Cup to make it bigger and better,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of Sports Development, Atinuke Watti, also appealed to stakeholders to focus more on goal-driven collaboration to develop sports at the grassroots.

GTI

Also speaking was Abubakar Lawal, the Group Managing Director of GTI Asset Management. He said signing the deal made him a happy man.

Lawal, who also applauded the minister and NFF’s president, pledged his unflinching support to football development in Nigeria.

“I’m the happiest man on the planet. I’d like to thank the minister for his belief in us, and his support to ensure that this partnership happened. My gratitude also goes to Alhaji Gusau for creating time to listen to us and supporting us.

“Football has gone beyond entertainment. We are driving towards the business aspect of it. This is what will make our vision result-oriented.

“We want our leagues to be better for it and the result is evident even on our rating table. It’s not business as usual.

“The President Federation Cup is set to witness a revolution, history is about to be made and we are happy about it,” he said. (NAN)

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