The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday released group stage draws of the 2018 AITEO Cup for both the men and women competitions with Kano Pillars drawn in a group dubbed the “Group of Death”.
Pillars have never won the Cup competition since Nigeria’s Independence and were on the verge of a first round exit in this year’s tournament before squeezing out a 3-2 win over little known Ngwa FC. The Sai Masu Gida have now been drawn against Kwara United, Abia Warriors and Rivers United in Group C at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
The newly refurbished Enyimba Stadium in Aba will host Group D which has the reigning AITEO Cup champions Akwa United and 2016 beaten finalists Nasarawa United. NPFL side Wikki Tourists of Bauchi and second division side Kogi United will complete the group.
2014 champions Enyimba are in Group A and will play at the Patani Stadium in Gombe alongside 1999 winners Plateau United, second division side Julius Atete as well as Katsina United from the elite division. Enugu Rangers, Sunshine Stars, El-Kanemi Warriors and giant killers Supreme Court will face off at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
In the women’s draw, AITEO Cup defending champions Rivers Angels have been drawn against the second team of their fierce rivals Bayelsa Queens in Group A of the group stage draws. Angels and Bayelsa Queens Feeders will be joined by Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) side Osun Babes at the Lafia Centre.
The senior team of Bayelsa Queens have a difficult task in Group B as they have been drawn to face reigning league champions Nasarawa Amazons and 2014 Federation Cup beaten finalists, Sunshine Queens.
The group stage games have been fixed for Monday, September 24 to Friday the 28th with the top two teams in each group progressing to the next round.
GROUP A (Gombe: Patani Stadium )
Julius Atete FC
Plateau United FC
GROUP B (Kano: Sani Abacha Stadium)
Supreme Court FC
GROUP C (Lagos: Agege Stadium)
Group D (Aba; Enyimba Stadium)
GROUP A (Lafia; Lafia Township Stadium)
Bayelsa Queens Feeders
GROUP B (Enugu; Nnamdi Azikwe Stadium)
GROUP C (Ijebu-Ode: Dipo Dina Stadium)
GROUP D (Calabar: UJ Esuene Stadium)
FC Robo Queens