Despite 3SC’s exit, Dimeji Lawal satisfied with Naija Super Eight concept
• Bendel Insurance’s Ini-Obong wins N100, 000, paid trip for wonder goal
• Draws, wildcards’ unveiling hold today in Lagos
Former Super Eagles midfielder, Oladimeji Lawal, has commended organisers of the ongoing Naija Super Eight play-off for their vision, saying it has added glamour and money to the nation’s club football.
Lawal featured at Canada ’87 FIFA U-16 World Cup as well as Saudi ’89 FIFA World Youth Championship for Nigeria. He made several appearances for the senior national team, and scored on his debut, a 1992 African Nations Cup qualifier against Togo in 1990.
Among other club assignments, Lawal played for the conquering Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) between 1991 and 1993 under the management of the late Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi.
Now, Lawal is the General Manager of the Ibadan warlords, which is the most successful club in the entire South West. But at the ongoing Naija Super Eight Play-offs in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, 3SC could not survive, losing the Southwest ticket 0-3 to rave of the moment, Remo Stars of Ikenne.
The early exit notwithstanding, Lawal said he is satisfied with the concept of the Naija Super Eight. “I love the idea and I give kudos to the organisers because it has brought glamour and more money into our club football.”
The Naija Super Eight, being organised by Flykite Productions, offers each of the participating teams N3 million per game. At the national finals, the runners-up trophy will come with N9 million, while the winner will get N25m, with the best player in every match pocketing N250, 000.
On 3SC’s exit from the competition, Lawal said the Oluyole Warriors gave their best in the game against Remo Stars. He explained: “We had only five days to prepare for this match due to some issues. We lost, but I see brighter future for my players because some of them are very young.”
Meanwhile, organisers of Naija Super Eight, Flykite Productions, have adjudged Okon Ini-Obong’s stunner for Bendel Insurance against Rivers United as the best goal of the play-offs.
Ina statement yesterday, Flykite Productions also announced that Ini-Obong will get a cash reward of N100, 000 and an all-expense paid ticket to Lagos to participate in the live unveiling of the two wildcard clubs that would join the six zonal qualifiers at the main tournament.
The midfielder, who came in as a substitute, hit a spectacular strike to draw the score level for Bendel Insurance in the 70th minute against Rivers United on Sunday at the Eket Township Stadium, Akwa Ibom State.
However, his goal was not enough to secure qualification for his team as Rivers United went ahead to win the clash 3-2. They joined the five already qualified clubs namely Lobi Stars, Remo Stars, Yobe Desert Stars, Enyimba International and Katsina United.
The organisers have also revealed that the two wildcard teams selected to participate in the maiden championship and the tournament draws will be unveiled today in a live broadcast show at the SuperSport studios in Lagos.
According to a statement by the organisers, yesterday, the two wildcard teams were selected based on stringent criteria that would be revealed alongside the tournament draws live on Africa Sports On at 7pm on SuperSport Variety 4 (DStv ch. 209) and SuperSport Select 2 (GOtv ch. 64).
It assured that the wildcard teams would complement the clubs that have already qualified for Naija Super Eight finals through the playoffs, which ended at the Eket Township Stadium on Sunday. The clubs are Lobi Stars, Remo Stars, Yobe Desert Stars, Enyimba Football Club, Katsina United and Rivers United.
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