Federation Cup Quarterfinalists Agree To Play With Cash Support But Heartland Cry Foul
The quarterfinalists of this year’s Federation Cup tonight met in Abuja with NFF Executive Members and resolve to continue the cup competition with financial support from the football federation.
This was the consequence of a strong-worded statement from the Sports Ministry, which knocked the decision of the NFF to pick Kwara United to represent Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup at the expense of the eventual winners of the Federation Cup.
However, Heartland, who pipped Katsina on penalties in the only quarterfinal so far played, have cried foul over the resolution for them to replay their own tie.
A top Heartland official, Tonnex Chukwu, has taken exception to the decision for his team to replay their own match against Katsina.
He said there was a plot to ensure Katsina United progressed to the semifinals at the expense of his team.
“Imagine an NFF that forced us to play even in the same night of the day our quarterfinal match was botched,” fumed Tonnex Chukwu.
“Can someone tell me what has happened to the match played between Heartland vs Katsina and the result there from?
“Could it be that forces in Abuja were not happy we won? May we not be tempted to believe the rumours of discontent about a possible Heartland victory was true.
“What does NFF want?
“Heartland FC respected NFF’s instruction to play according to fixtures against Katsina United in Ilorin on the 10th of August even when the match could not hold, it was rescheduled for the morning of 11th at same venue, which saw Heartland emerging victorious after a barren regulation time (4-1 on penalties).
“I hate to give credence to the insinuation that plans have been hatched to ensure a Katsina victory which could not materialise in the field of play hence this brazen somersault.
“Heartland FC wish to state for the records that we do not intend to eat our vomits, neither do we need a corruption-infested money for the replay from anybody.”
Only Kogi United were not part of tonight’s parley presided by LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko accompanied by NFF Excos Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ and Ibrahim Alkali.
The meeting resolved various monetary compensations to the teams from the quarterfinals right up to the final with a promise that the eventual winners of the cup competition will automatically feature in next year’s tournament from the Round of 16.
The new date for the quarterfinals is August 20.
THE FULL RESOLUTIONS OF THE CLUBS AFTER MEETING WITH NFF EXCOS TONIGHT IN ABUJA
1. Quarterfinal matches and the pairings as well as the centre’s be maintained except the Ilorin centre involving Heartland vs Katsina Utd that has been played;
2. Quarterfinal matches to be played on 20th August, 2022;
3. All the 8 Quarter finalists shall be refunded their expenses – #3m each as compensation;
b. Katsina United and Heartland, if to replay, shall receive #5m each;
5. Semifinalists shall receive #2m each as subsidy
6. Finalists shall receive #1m each as subsidy.
7. Winners shall be compensated with an upward review of prize money with at least 50%;
8. Winners shall automatically qualify to d Round of 16 in d 2022/2023 FA Cup irrespective of whether they qualify from their state or not.