Clubs participating in the 2022 Sheroes Cup, a pre-season women football tournament, have started arriving in Abuja ahead of Thursday’s kick-off at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
Chairman of the competition’s organising committee, Haruna Ilerika, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday that four of the eight participating clubsides have arrived.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament designed for clubs in the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) will begin on Friday and end on Nov. 13.
The participating clubs are Adamawa Queens, Edo Queens, Confluence Queens, Delta Queens, Heartland Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Royal Queens and Naija Ratels.
Ilerika said Edo Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Confluence Queens and Naija Ratels were already in Abuja, while logistics and technical arrangements for the tournament had been perfected for their smooth stay.
He disclosed that the competition would be played on a round-robin format as the teams demanded to play more games to have enough playing time to assess their players.
“After the first stage, the first two teams will play in the final, while the third-placed and fourth-placed sides on the table will play in the third-place match.
“This kind of tournament gives players the opportunity to gain exposure to national team selectors and secure transfer to better their careers.”
Ilerika, who is also the Secretary of FCT Football Association (FA), assured the clubs of good officiating.
He lamented the now-rampant cases of bad refereeing as one of the biggest challenges in football in the country because of the “win at all cost” syndrome.
“Why will any team come for a pre-season tournament and want to desperately win?
“Who do you want to impress? Instead of judiciously using the competition to assess your team, you are lobbying referees. But I can assure clubs participating in this competition that they will get fair officiating.
“I have discussed with the chairman of referees committee in the FCT FA, and I told him that if we find any referee wanting, technically or otherwise, we won’t waste time in sanctioning him or her because what we want is quality.”
Ilerika went on to disclose that a total number of 30 games would be played at the competition and there would be at least four matches everyday.
“The fixtures for the tournament will see the teams playing about 30 matches in all, with four matches everyday.”
In the opening game, Adamawa Queens will face Royal Queens by 8 a.m. on Friday, while the game between Confluence Queens and Nasarawa Amazons will follow thereafter at 10 a.m.
Delta Queens will engage Naija Ratels same day by 2 p.m., while the match between Edo Queens and Heartland Queens takes place from 4 p.m.
NAN reports that Sheroes Cup transformed from the Flying Officers Cup with the 2022 edition.(NAN)