It’s Southwest derby day as Remo Stars, Sporting Lagos fight for crown
Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL) will get a taste of the emerging Southwest derby when newcomers, Sporting Lagos battles Remo Stars for the maiden Naija Super Eight Tournament title.
The battle ground is the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos and on offer is the N25 million top prize money.
Newly promoted Sporting Lagos have been on fire in their maiden competition involving big league clubs and getting to the final of a competition that featured such teams as Enyimba, Rivers United, Akwa United and Lobi Stars shows how good the team is.
Against the NPFL second-best team, Remo Stars, is another test the John Offor-led team would relish.
Sporting Lagos recovered from a goal down to beat the more experienced Akwa United 2-1 to qualify for the final, while Daniel Ogunmodede’s Remo Stars secured a slot in the final, courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Lobi Stars in their semifinal on Friday.
Looking forward to today’s final, Coach Offor said his boys are going into the game to enjoy themselves. “Whatever the result on Sunday, we have achieved our aim for the season. We will come out to express and enjoy ourselves on Sunday and see what comes out of it,” he said.
Remo Stars coach, Daniel Ogunmodede, has a different view from his Sporting Lagos counterpart. He is emphatic about the likely outcome of the game. “We are going to win this trophy. Everything gives me assurance that we will win it,” he said.
The Naija Super Eight final will kick-off at 5.00 p.m.
Apart from the competition’s trophy, the winner of the final game will get N25 million. This is in addition to N3 million earned for each group and semifinal match. The runner-up will get N9 million.
Meanwhile, about 24 hours after they were fined N200, 000 along with Katsina, Sporting Lagos have been fined by the same amount by the organisers, Flykite Productions.
The fine of another N200, 000 was announced in a statement on Friday shortly after the semifinals.
The infraction, according to the organisers, was the same as in their clash with Katsina United, when both sets of players did not throw their jersey shirts to the crowd, as agreed with the organisers before the tournament.
Those who gave out jerseys did not do so randomly, but chose members of the crowd, who were suspiciously their friends, to give the jerseys to. An attempt by one of the organisers to correct Sporting Lagos forward, Junior Lokosa, was rebuffed by the player.
The organisers had in a letter to chairmen of participating clubs, had warned that clubs, whose fans breach the jersey throwing agreement, will face financial sanctions.
The letter, dated July 11, was terse and direct.
“It was an unpleasant surprise to see Sporting Lagos players refuse to throw their jerseys to fans after being fined on Thursday. They have left us with no option than to impose another fine,” the statement read.
It noted that each club in the competition was paid a jersey subsidy for because the organisers wanted players to throw their shirts to the fans.
“As we stated earlier, the objective of Naija Super 8 is to rekindle affection for domestic club football, which we think jersey sharing will help accelerate.
“Clubs, whose players refuse to give jerseys to fans, are clearly not in tune with the objective and we find that unacceptable,” the statement concluded
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