The Nigeria Football Federation has scrapped third place matches in the male and female categories of the Federation Cup, in line with the new format adopted for the annual football tournament.
The NFF Director of Competitions, Dr Sanusi Mohammed disclosed this to Daily Trust that, starting from this year’s edition, only the last two proceed to the final match venue, as there will be no third-place fixture for the losing semifinalists.
He therefore urges the last four to strive to win its semi-final matches to stand the chance to play at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
“In line with the new format, which is the straight knock out, we are not going to have third place matches,” Mohammed said.
“In the male and female categories, only the two finalists would proceed to Lagos.
“We do not see any sense in accommodating third place matches. It does not serve any purpose.”
The NFF Director of Competitions further stated that the adoption of the knock out format was not prompted by the present cash crunch being experienced by the federation, stating that the NFF settled for it to discourage problems associated with the group matches format such as manipulation and other sharp practices.
“It is not true that we have been forced to phase out the old format because we are cash strapped. All we want is to eradicate some of the problems we faced. Moreover, it (group matches) was time consuming and energy sapping.”
He disclosed that the semi-final matches will be played on August 21, as Warri Wolves and Akwa United clash at the Tafawa Balewa Stadium Bauchi while Lobi Stars and Enyimba meet at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin.