Marketing Manager, Nivea Men, Faizal Kayode (left); Media & Marketing Officer, NUGA, Chidiebere Ezeani; Brand Manager, Minimie, Monica Jaiswal and Sports Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Tony Ubani, at the HIFL round of 16 draws in Lagos… Friday
• It’s UNIBEN Royals versus UNICAL Malabites
The University of Lagos (UNILAG Marines) will have to overcome Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) to achieve their aim of winning the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) title for the first time since it started.
UNILAG is yet to taste victory in the competition that has been dominated by University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM) Tillers and the University of Calabar (UNICAL Malabites) from inception four years ago.
In the round of 16 draws organised by Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, the HiFL organisers, at the weekend in Lagos, UNILAG Marines were pitted against FUTA Tigers in week one of the competition, with the match holding in Akure, while AAUA Luminaries will meet OAU Giants in Ondo, just as LAUTECH Hunters will attempt to hunt down the FUTMINNA Transformers in Ogbomoso. The last game of the week will see KSU Steelers taking on UNILORIN Warriors.
In week two, UNIBEN Royals will meet defending champions, UNICAL Malabites, IAUE Minders will tackle UNN Lions in Port Harcourt, ABU Nobles will confront UAM Tillers in Zaria, while BUK Stallions will slug it out with UNIMAID Desert Warriors in Kano.
The games will hold between June and September, 2021.
Speaking at the draws, Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Sola Fijabi, said, “We are now at a very exciting stage of the league. What was witnessed during the qualifiers was the tip of the iceberg. The schools are ready and what we assured lovers of collegiate sports is double excitement.
“We appreciate the support of NUGA and our sponsors, Nivea Men and Minimie, for their trust in HiFL and as we deliver value to all our stakeholders.”
Also speaking at the draws, Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) President, Prof. Stephen Hamafyelto, assured that NUGA and its affiliate universities were ready for the showpiece. “We have come far with Pace Sports and HiFL. It is a partnership that we cherish because it brought a new dimension to how we organise collegiate sports in this part of the world. I wish all the teams that are participating in the round of 16 the best as they slug things out on the field of play. We are hopeful that this season will record more successes as we provide an unforgettable experience to the fans.”