2017 Gold Cup: City of Ilorin to Host the Pre-Season Tournament

The organizers of annual pre-season tournament – Gold Cup have concluded plans to stage the fifth edition of Nigeria’s most glamorous pre-season tourney in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

Lobi Stars Football Club of Makurdi are the defending champions of the tourney after they defeated MFM FC 5-4 on penalties in the final of the last edition in Ijebu-Ode.

MFM FC and Enyimba International Football Club participated in the last edition of the tournament, the two teams had a successful campaign in the recently concluded Nigeria Professional Football League season and will fly Nigeria’s flag in 2017/18 CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively.

Ten clubs in the NPFL, Nigeria National League and Nationwide League One, have signified interest to take part in the tournament as it presents a platform for the clubs to prepare for the upcoming season.

“Ilorin is the new host of the Gold Cup Pre-Season Tournament, as Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State has been host of the past editions,” General Coordinator of the tournament Tunde Shamsudeen confirmed on Monday.

“We are glad that the State of Harmony has agreed to host tourney.  The reason being that we want to have different state host the tournament.

“You would agree with me that Ilorin is a good choice as its fans are passionate, keen followers of our three tier leagues,”

Meanwhile, Chairman NFF Referees Appointment Committee and member CAF Technical Committee, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh has vowed to support this year’s event.

Fresh said: “As the only well organized and elaborate Pre-Season tourney in the country, this really inspired me to support the organizers.

“MFM and Enyimba, played the last tourney and they’re able to pick continental tickets, and the smooth run of Niger Tornadoes in the Aiteo Cup is also a added plus for the tournament.”

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