The organizers of the Prince Dapo Abiodun Pre-season Tournament have revealed that this year’s edition of the pre-season tourney will hold from November 16th – 23rd, 2020 in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
The maiden edition of the prestigious pre-season tournament was held in 2019 at the ancient city of Ijebu-ode in Ogun State, Shooting Stars emerged as champions defeating Delta Force 1-0 in the final game. The tournament witnessed an historic moment in the semi-final game when Shooting Stars defeated Lobi Stars 5-0.
The tournament Coordinator Oye Bawala has revealed that the second edition promises an improved organization and top-notch competition for the clubs that will participate which also includes meeting up with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on COVID19.
“We recorded a huge success last season in the maiden edition and we are looking forward to the second edition. We have reviewed the organization and we are planning to improve on all fronts this year, this edition is unique because of the outbreak of COVID19. We have set out modalities to meet up with the NCDC guidelines, we will get support from the Ogun State Government and the Ministry of Health.
“The competition helped the clubs that participated last season, the clubs were happy with the positive impact and how the tournament shaped their season. The clubs were able to compete brilliantly in their various leagues,” said Bawala.
The organizers have confirmed 11 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs and five Nigeria National League (NNL) clubs that will compete for honours in Ijebu-ode, the pedigree of the shortlisted teams makes the tournament the biggest pre-season tournament in Nigeria.
Defending champions Shooting Stars will lead the other four NNL clubs, Crown FC, Bendel Insurance, Remo Stars, and Gateway FC. The NPFL clubs include; Four-time NPFL champions Kano Pillars, Rivers United, Warri Wolves, MFM FC, Nasarawa United, Adamawa United, Lobi Stars, Kwara United, Heartland FC, Wikki Tourists, and Rangers International.
Bawala added; “We have confirmed 16 clubs, these are clubs with pedigree that will make the tournament glamorous. The competitive level will be high and we are expecting fireworks in Ijebu-ode. We are also working on sponsors that will make the tournament more colourful.
“The tournament had a business impact on the communities in Ijebu-ode and the benefits on various businesses like hotels, transportation, food communities and more were enormous. The State Government saw the benefits and they are keen on sustaining the tournament.”