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How are the mighty fallen! Big names crash at President Federation Cup



Only three Nigeria Premier League clubs are able to make it to the quarter-finals of the President Federation Cup following spate of upset recorded on Wednesday at the Round of 16.

Seventeen of the elite clubs entered into the national finals but only three of them remain. The figure is destined to reduce to at least two when the quarter finals are played.

 Kano Pillars will face fellow NPFL sides, Sunshine Stars. Further upsets could still be recorded as another Premier League sides, Abia Warriors will face Sokoto United.  

 Akwa United, struggling hard to evade relegation in the league fell 1-0 to Kebbi United in the Round of 16 just as Shooting Stars were shut out 1-0  by El Kanemi Warriors.

 The biggest elephants that fell were the Enyimba who lost 1-0 to Sokoto United. Rivers United lost 1-0 also to fellow NPFL sides, Sunshine Stars.


President Federation Cup: MEN’S ROUND OF 16 RESULTS

Wikki Tourists (Bauchi) 0-1 EFCC FC (FCT)

Kebbi United (Kebbi) 1-0 Akwa United (Akwa Ibom)  

El-Kanemi Warriors (Borno) 1-0 Shooting Stars (Oyo)

Ikorodu City (Lagos) 1-1 Inter Lagos (Lagos) – Inter Lagos win 5-4 on penalties


Kwara United (Kwara) 1-1 Abia Warriors (Abia) – Abia Warriors win 4-3 on penalties

Sokoto United (Sokoto) 1-0 Enyimba (Abia)

Sunshine Stars (Ondo) 1-0 Rivers United (Rivers)

Katsina United (Katsina) 1-1 Kano Pillars (Kano) – Kano Pillars win 8-7 on penalties

Quarter-Final Pairings


EFCC FC (FCT) Vs Kebbi United (Kebbi)

El-Kanemi Warriors (Borno) Vs Inter Lagos (Lagos)

Abia Warriors (Abia) Vs Sokoto United (Sokoto)

Sunshine Stars (Ondo) Vs Kano Pillars (Kano)

President Federation Cup: WOMEN’S ROUND OF 16 RESULTS


Bayelsa Queens (Bayelsa) 1-1 Nasarawa Amazons (Nasarawa) – Nasarawa Amazons win 6-5 on penalties  

Dannaz Ladies (Lagos) 0-1 Remo Ladies (Ogun)

Abia Angels (Abia) 0-4 Naija Ratels (FCT) – Benin City  

Heartland Queens (Imo) 0-2 FC Robo Queens (Lagos)  

Kwara Ladies (Kwara) 0-7 Delta Queens (Delta)  


Sunshine Queens (Ondo) 2-0 Honey Badgers (Benue)  

Osun Babes (Osun) 1-1 Confluence Queens (Kogi) – Osun Babes win 4-3 on penalties

Edo Queens (Edo) 1-4 Rivers Angels (Rivers)

Quarter-Final Pairings

Nasarawa Amazons (Nasarawa) Vs Remo Stars Ladies (Ogun)


Naija Ratels (FCT) Vs FC Robo Queens (Lagos)

Delta Queens (Delta) Vs Sunshine Queens (Ondo)

Osun Babes (Osun) Vs Rivers Angels (Rivers)

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.


History-making as El Kanemi becomes the first club to lift Nigeria’s Cup at Onikan since 1971



 El-Kanemi Warriors celebrate with their trophy and dummy cheque of N50million

What a splendid season it has been for El-Kanemi Warriors! First they got promoted into the Nigeria Premier League. They are the winners of the President Federation Cup, following up earlier victories of 1991 and 1992 and then cap it up with a ticket to play at the CAF Confederation Cup next season.  

 The 2-0 win over Abia Warriors tells just a bit of their dominance. They were undoubtedly the better side as they fired full cylinder from the beginning of their encounter with Abia Warriors who were contended to merely chasing loose balls.

  The El kanemi Warriors were blazing from beginning to the end and became the first team to lift the national cup at the competition’s place of birth since the then WNDC Shooting Stars won on 23 October 1971 – the last concluded Nigeria FA Cup at Onikan.

 Nimble-footed midfielder Nasiru Salihu, who would be crowned most valuable player of the competition, dazzled in the middle of the park and scored both goals to leave the Abia Warriors to look to fight another day.  

Rivers Angels of Port Harcourt won their ninth title and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri won their third title as Nigeria’s National Cup (now known as President Federation Cup) grand finale took place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos on Saturday.


In the women’s final, an enthralling encounter between the Angels from Garden City and Naija Ratels from the Federal Capital, and which kicked off at 1pm beside the Lagos Waterfront, was decided by a goal scored from the penalty spot by Blessing Okpe right before the half-time whistle.

Coach Whyte Ogbonda, who lifted his first trophy as head coach, praised his players for their dedication, resilience and hard work. “This victory is a testament to the team’s resilience and determination. We are thrilled to be champions of the President Federation Cup.”

Naija Ratels’ head coach, Bankole Olowookere, commended his young squad for their progress to the final. “Although we did not get the desired result, I am proud of my players for their fighting spirit. We will learn from this experience and come back stronger.”




Winner: Rivers Angels (N25million)

Runner-Up: Naija Ratels (N10million)

MVP: Blessing Okpe (Rivers Angels FC)

Top Scorer: Agama Ziperefeghe (Naija Ratels FC)

Best Goalkeeper: Agatha Thompson (Rivers Angels FC)



Winner: El-Kanemi Warriors (N50million)

Runner-Up: Abia Warriors (N20million)

MVP: Nasiru Salihu (El-Kanemi Warriors FC)

Top Scorer: Emmanuel Ogbole (Kwara United FC)


Best Goalkeeper: Ali Ishaku (Abia Warriors FC)

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The longest Federation Cup match in history





 The Enugu Rangers and Jigawa Golden Stars’ encounter of   November 18, 1995, in the Challenge Cup third-place match might have offered little in terms of thrills. But it could earn a place in football record books.

   The drab encounter at the National Stadium, Lagos, lasted for  135 minutes.

This  could be a record as the longest duration of a Challenge Cup match.  

Anwalu Ibrahim shot the Jigawa Golden Stars ahead after he had converted a pass from Habibu Inuwa to beat Enugu Rangers’ goalkeeper, Emeka Ijeh, in the 33rd minute. Enugu Rangers levelled up in the 62nd minute through substitute player, Fred Okpalo.


   At full time, score lines stood at 1-1.The mandatory extra time could not break the tie.

Then followed the penalty shootout that was filled with amazing drama.

In the first set of five kicks for each side, both scored twice to stalemate score line at 3-3.

Thereafter, one after the other, players on both sides missed from the penalty spot!

   There were 11 penalty kicks in a row that were lost, arousing the sleepy crowd that watched with amazement. Jigawa’s skipper Ibrahim Gwadale eventually scored in the “sudden-death” situation to put final score line at 4-3 in favour of his side.


The encounter produced one of the longest streaks of penalty misses.

The report, perhaps ,could have found a place in the famous Guinness Book of Records if entry had been made for it.

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Warriors beat different drums at Nigeria Cup final



The Nigeria President Federation Cup final is a battle of Warriors. On one hand is the cup’s familiar face, the El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri who are playing the final match for the fourth time ever.

  On the other, are the Abia Warriors, playing their first ever national cup final match and thus dreaming for a continental debut. 

  El-Kanemi were winners in 1991 and 1992 and losing finalists in 2001. 

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