By Adeboye Amosu:
Federation Cup holders, Akwa United, will begin the defence of their trophy when they confront Kwara United in a round of 32 fixture at the Aper Aku Stadium, Makurdi on Thursday, Completesportsnigeria.com can report.
The Promise Keepers claimed the Cup last season by edging out Lobi Stars 2-1 in the final.
Kwara United who were relegated to the Nigeria National League last season are handled by former Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles coach, John Obuh.
The Afonja Warriors will be banking on Obuh’s experience and tactical savvy to help outwit their more illustrious opponent.
FC IfeanyiUbah and Lobi Stars will clash in the battle between two Nigeria Professional Football League sides at the UJ Usuene Stadium on Wednesday.
NPFL leaders, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, will tackle National League side, Kogi United, at the Ilorin Township Stadium also on Wednesday, while giant killers, Top World Football Club of Ekiti State who knocked out Heartland in the previous round, will face Delta State representatives J. Atete at the Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium, Enugu.
Enugu Rangers who are without a domestic title in 33 years will look to get past ABS in Bauchi.
Meanwhile, CAF Champions League contenders, Enyimba FC, have appealed to the Nigeria Football Federation to move their Federation Cup Round of 32 clash against fellow NPFL side El-Kanemi Warriors as a result of their continental date against Zamalek of Egypt in Port Harcourt on Sunday.
The People’s Elephant, winners of Africa’s most prestigious club competition in 2003 and 2004, host Zamalek at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in one of the matchday 1 games of the group stage of this year’s competition.
“Enyimba has appealed for postponement of the encounter, and the NFF has granted this plea. They are flying Nigeria’s flag and the NFF has promised to give them all the support in their quest for glory,” Emmanuel Adesanya, Head of Federation Cup, told thenff.com.
However, the remaining 15 matches of the men’s competition and eight matches of the women’s competition will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, with Abuja, Makurdi, Enugu and Lokoja hosting three matches each.
The encounter between Plateau United and Dreams FC of Makurdi, earlier slated for Damaturu, has been moved to Abuja, while the Crown FC/Niger Tornadoes clash will now take place in Benin City instead of Akure.
With the Enyimba/El-Kanemi tie postponed, the match between FC IfeanyiUbah and Lobi Stars at UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar is the only all-NPFL game this week.
Eleven matches of the men’s competition and three matches of the women’s competition will take place on Wednesday, with high-riding Rivers United up against Kaduna United in Makurdi, Enugu Rangers against ABS FC in Bauchi, Shooting Stars testing Almar FC in Agege (Lagos), Kano Pillars up against Prime FC in Lokoja.
The women’s competition is in the Round of 16, and Cup holders Sunshine Queens battle Osun Babes in Ibadan, Delta Queens take on Ibom Angels at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri and Katsina Queens tackle Gift of Life FC in Abuja
MEN’S ROUND OF 32
Akwa United Vs Kwara United – Makurdi – 16/6 – 4pm
Sunshine Stars Vs Abia Comets – Oleh – 15/6 – 4pm
Dynamite FC Vs Flash Flamingoes – Abuja – 16/6 – 4pm
Nasarawa United Vs Go Round FC – Enugu – 15/6 – 4pm
Rivers United Vs Kaduna United – Makurdi – 15/6 – 4pm
Shooting Stars Vs Almar FC – Agege – 15/6 – 4pm
Top World FC Vs J. Atete FC – Enugu – 16/6 – 4pm
Crown FC Vs Niger Tornadoes – Benin – 15/6 – 4pm
ABS FC Vs Enugu Rangers – Bauchi – 15/6 – 4pm
Kogi United Vs Wikki Tourists – Kaduna – 15/6 – 4pm
Dreams FC Vs Plateau United – Abuja – 15/6 – 4pm
Kano Pillars Vs Prime FC – Lokoja – 15/6 – 4pm
Warri Wolves Vs Jigawa Stars – Ilorin – 15/6 – 4pm
MFM FC Vs Katsina United – Lokoja – 16/6 – 4pm
FC IfeanyiUbah Vs Lobi Stars – Calabar – 15/6 – 4pm
WOMEN’S ROUND OF 16
Sunshine Queens Vs Osun Babes – Ibadan – 15/6 – 4pm
Capital City Doves Vs Rivers Angels – Makurdi – 16/6 – 2pm
Mosco Queens Vs Nasarawa Amazons – Ilorin – 14/6 – 4pm
Abia Angels Vs Confluence Queens – Enugu – 16/6 – 4pm
Ibom Angels Vs Delta Queens – Owerri – 15/6 – 4pm
Gift of Life Vs Katsina Queens – Abuja – 16/6 – 2pm
COD United Vs Pelican Stars – Lokoja – 16/6 – 2pm
Martin White Doves Vs Bayelsa Queens – Nnewi – 15/6 – 4pm