Nigeria’s Oldest Football Competition Becomes AITEO Cup


Duro Ikhazuagbe

Nigeria’s oldest football competition, the Federation Cup, wednesday secured the sponsorship of energy solution company, AITEO, after many years without any corporate support. The competition from the 2017 edition will henceforth be known as the AITEO Cup.

The acquisition of the naming right of the Federation Cup also formerly called the Challenge Cup, is an extension to the agreement the oil and gas giants entered with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) when its became its Technical Partner in April.

Accordingly to the sponsorship agreement, for the 2017 season, the prize monies for the AITEO Cup will be N25million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10million for the winner of the women’s competition.

The runner-up for the men’s competition will pocket N10million, with the runner-up for the women’s event going home with N5million.

Speaking at the signing of the MoU yesterday at AITEO’s corporate headquarters in Lekki, Lagos, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, commended the Aiteo Group for the partnership. “We want to celebrate and thank Aiteo for this wonderful gesture. This sponsorship will go a long way in turning around the fortunes of the Cup competition which is the oldest football tournament in the country.”

AITEO’s Deputy Managing Director, Francis Peters, said: “We are happy to do this for Nigeria.” Other top AITEO chiefs at the event include; Group Executive Director/Chief Legal Counsel, Mr. Andrew Onyearu; Senior Vice President, Commercial and Gas, Mr. Victor Okoronkwo; and Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Ndiana-Abasi Matthew.

Apart from Pinnick, also present at the brief ceremony from federation’s Glass House in Abuja were; NFF’s First Vice President/Chairman, Organising Committee, Seyi Akinwunmi; NFF’s Second Vice President/LMC Chairman/Chairman, Marketing, Sponsorship and Television Advisory Committee, Shehu Dikko; Chairman of NFF Committee on Ethics and Fairplay, A. U. Mustapha; Member, NFF Executive Committee/Chairman, Nigeria Women Football League, Aisha Falode and Director, Media and Communication, Ademola Olajire
The duration of the sponsorship is five years, similar to the main agreement signed on April 26, 2017.

The arrangement will see AITEO underwrite the costs of the organisation of the competition which encompasses the costs of organising the AITEO Cup from the Round of 64 to the men and women’s finals, solidarity support to Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support to participating Clubs, Media, Branding/Activation and Prize Money to winners.

Spokesman of the NFF, Olajire, hinted that further details of all the benefits of the extended agreement will be unveiled at a press conference soon.

The competition started as the Governor’s Cup in 1945 before it was changed to All Nigeria Challenge Cup in 1955. In 1996, it became the Coca cola FA Cup.

Following the withdrawal of the soda bottling company from the sponsorship of the competition and the change of the nomenclature of the association to NFF, the tournament was for the fourth time changed to Federation Cup.