All is now set for Friday November 4 kick-off of 2022 Sheroes Cup, a pre-season tournament mainly for club sides featuring in the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL).
As at last count, up to eight NWFL clubs have confirmed their readiness to participate as the organisers put finishing touches to plans.
Chairman of the organising committee, Coach Haruna Ilerika, who gave further insight on the level of preparedness of the annual competition in Abuja on Wednesday, said both logistics and technical arrangements have been perfected.
He confirmed that participating clubs have already concluded plans to arrive the nation’s capital on Thursday November 3, with most matches scheduled to be played inside FIFA goal project, package B of Moshood Abiola National stadium Abuja.
He listed the clubs expected to face each other during the tournament to include Adamawa Queens, Edo Queens, Confluence Queens, Delta Queens, heartland Queens, Nasarawa Amazons, Royal queens and Naija Ratels.
According to Ilerika, “The competition will be played in a round robin format. This is because the clubs requested that they want to play more games to enable them fully assess the quality of players they have recruited for the season. Is not economically viable for us, but we conceded to their demands in order to provide the platform they needed.
“After the first stage, the first two will play in the final, while the third and fourth placed sides on the table will play the third-place match.
“This kind of tournament gives players the opportunity to gain exposure to national team and secure transfer to better their careers.”
Ilerika who is also the Secretary of FCT Football (FA) revealed that “as a responsible FA, we have contacted our hotel managers and connected them with clubs for discussions. We are providing conducting environment for them to enjoy their stay in Abuja.”
On officiating, the competition’s committee chairman said, “One of the biggest challenges in our football has been officiating. On various platforms, most of the administrators are complaining of refeering. How did we get to this point, it is a win at all cost syndrome that is causing these issues. People want to influence match officials.
“Why will any team want to come to a pre-season tournament and want to desperately win, who do you want to impress instead of making sure you judiciously use the competition to assess your team, you are lobbying refeering.
“Now, I can assure the clubs that they will get fair officiating. I have discussed with the chairman of refeering committee in the FCT, and I told him that if we find any referee wanting, whether technically or otherwise, we won’t waste time to send the referee to the association because what we want is quality.
“We have a total number of 30 games to be played, and the major venue is the FIFA goal project. There will be at least four matches everyday. On Tuesday, we will observe a rest because the clubs will attend seminar and there could an award night same day, any other day will be action-packed. We want everyone in FCT to come out and watch quality game.”
Meanwhile, the fixtures for the tournament have been released, and four matches will be decided each day.
In the opening game, Adamaqa Queens will battle Royal Queens by 8am on Friday. The game between Confluence Queens and Nasarawa Amazons will follow thereafter at 10am
Same day by 2pm, it will be Delta Queens versus Naija Ratels. The match between Edo and Heartland Queens will then happen, starting from 4pm.
Sheroes Cup transformed from Flying Officer’s Cup as from this year.