The Nigeria national football cup competition, the Federation Cup is expected to be concluded a week before the last day matches of the league.
The league’s last match day is projected to be 14 May. If the Federation Cup final match is played before the end of the league as being expected, it will be the third time ever the national cup final is played in May.
The first time was on 28 May 1949 when the competition was concluded earlier than the traditional October/November to enable Nigeria’s first national team to be picked.
The second time was in 1974, when it was played on 4 May and for the first time at the National Stadium, Lagos.
It was the first time ever that the Enugu Rangers won the then Challenge Cup.
To actualise what could align the Nigerian football calendar with the global one, the Nigeria’s Federation Cup in both men and women categories will take off with the competitions in the States this weekend.
According to the calendar from the NFF Competitions Department, the State finals are due to hold on 19th March, while the States are to submit names of their two entries for the national competition on 20th March.
Already, the Board of Nigeria Football Federation, at its meeting on Monday, has declared that the final match of the Federation Cup will be staged a week before the final matches of this NPFL Football Season – a trend that will be sustained going forward.
The objective, according to the NFF Board, is to “allow the winner to prepare adequately for the task of flying the country’s flag creditably at the CAF Confederation Cup.” The Board observed that failure to adhere to the calendar/lack of any in the past few years was the principal reason for Nigeria’s recent poor showing in continental club competitions.
After the finals of the competitions in the States, the NFF will then select a date for the draw that will usher in the national competition.
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