Over N100 million will be up for grab in the maiden Naija Super 8, an off-season football competition to rekindle affection for the domestic game. It was launched yesterday in Lagos.
Organisers of the competition, Flykite Productions, stated that the objective of NAIJA Super 8 is to build a more enduring romance with the game domestically.
Chief Executive Officer, Flykite Productions, Jenkins Alumona, explained that NAIJA Super 8 is a game-changing intervention to re-ignite and sustain excitement in club football in Nigeria.
“We are excited to announce NAIJA Super 8 to you, which we believe is a paradigm-shifting tournament, as it aims to bring back the excitement for the fans, players, club owners and other stakeholders in the game.
“NAIJA Super 8 will bring many innovations into club football with world-class coverage and analyses. All the matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport. Each team earns N3 million per game. The runner-up trophy comes with N9 million, while the winner of the NAIJA Super 8 tournament gets N25 million. Best player in every match wins N100, 000,” he said.
Alumona appreciated MTN Nigeria, Pepsi, Moniepoint, SuperSport, and DStv for sponsoring the NAIJA Super 8 tournament.
Speaking on modalities for the competition, Alumona said football fans across the country would vote for their favourite clubs from the six geo-political zones of the country. The two clubs with the highest vote tallies in each zone will tackle each other at the zonal play-offs scheduled to hold at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, from June 1 to 3.
“The six best teams at the play-offs will be joined by two wildcard entries to be revealed after the play-offs. The eight teams will participate in the tournament proper, to be held at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos, from June 17 to 25,” he stated.
Alumona also disclosed that voting channels would open on April 10, adding that votes would be collated by a globally renowned independent audit firm to ensure credibility of the process.
Also speaking at the occasion, General Secretary, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, described NAIJA Super 8 as a worthwhile initiative.
“This is a laudable project. We are convinced it aligns with the mission and vision of Nigerian football. This project is different, as it allows the fans to vote for their favourite clubs to play in the NAIJA Super 8. We have no regrets approving this. NFF, as the football governing body in Nigeria, is throwing its weight behind this tournament,” he said.
Members of the Advisory committee for NAIJA Super 8 are Alumona; Chairman, Sokoto FA, Mohammed Saidu Nasir; Director General, Lagos Sports Commission, Garfaar Bolowontan; former referee, Calistus Chukwujekwu; Chief Executive Officer, Global Media, Godwin Enakhena; Adedotun Coker, Bamidele Johnson and Sports analyst, Chisom Mbonu-Ezike.