Lagos FA Cup kicks off with rookies playoffs

Idowu Obasa, CEO of Winners Golden Bet

Idowu Obasa, CEO of Winners Golden Bet

Taiwo Adelu

Idowu Obasa, CEO of Winners Golden Bet
Idowu Obasa, CEO of Winners Golden Bet

The 2016 edition of Lagos FA Cup begins this weekend with preliminary round which will be played by rookie teams.

Matches of the FA Cup which is sponsored by Winners Golden Bet, a Lagos-based sports betting company, will be played all through at the Agege Stadium.

According to the Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, the competition is starting with rookies playoffs to give some of the teams who are playing for the first time in the tournament the chance to show their strength and whoever scale the hurdles will now feature in the first round.

Chairman of the Technical Committee of the FA, Dotun Coker said that a 12-team rookie playoffs which involves clubs playing for the first time, non league clubs and ‘bottom up’ affiliations teams will get underway this weekend.

“The preliminary round will be played by 12 clubs beginning from this weekend. The clubs are Apapa Golden FC, Great Olympic, Trinity House, Abu Football Academy, Royal Sporting FC, FC Robo Warriors, Glorious Day Soccer Academy and Arik FC.

“Four teams will qualify from this stage to join other 36 teams waiting in the first round of 40 teams.

“In the first round, 12 teams have been seeded based on their performance in the 2015 edition and league clubs status. Some of them are Christ Ambassadors, the winners of the last edition, MFM, Ikorodu United, Nath Boys, COD United, Messiah FC, My People FC, Spartan FC and First Bank,” he said.

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Coker noted that from 32 teams last year, the FA Cup has grown to accommodate 56 teams this year and five female teams.

General Manager of Winners Golden Bet, Mr. Ayowole Fajinmi, disclosed that the robust partnership between the leading sports betting company in the country and the board of Lagos FA has encouraged the sponsor to increase the packages for the players in the tournament this year.

“Man of the Match in each match of the first round will receive N15,000. This will be increased to N25,000 from the quarter finals. The highest goal scorer of the tournament, Most Valuable Player and best goalkeeper will receive N100,000 each respectively.

“In the female category, the best player in each match will receive the sum of N15,000, while the highest goal scorer and Most Valuable Player will receive N50,000 each. Best goalkeeper will get N25,000.

“At Winners Golden Bet, we are demonstrating that we are a sports loving company that cares deeply for Nigerian youth and we believe in the management of Lagos FA led by Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi,” Fajinmi said.

Akinwunmi, who is also the vice president of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, said Winners Golden Bet gives the FA Cup and indeed the board of Lagos FA the vigour to move forward.

“This is a partnership that I believe will take the game to the next level in Lagos,” he said.

He warned clubs, officials and players to desist from violence and cheating as the FA won’t condone any act that can bring the game into disrepute.

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