The battle for places in the quarterfinals of this year’s Federation Cup competition for men and women will begin in eight different centres across the country on Monday.
The group phase of the nation's oldest football tournament will be involving 16 teams in the men’s category and 12 teams in the women’s category which runs from September 24-28.In the men’s competition, the Patani Stadium in Gombe will host CAF Confederation Cup semi-finalists Enyimba FC, alongside FC Ifeanyi Ubah's conquerors J. Atete FC, as well as Plateau United FC and Katsina United FC in Group A.
Another giant-killing side, Supreme Court FC who eliminated Go Round FC on penalties in the Round of 32 will join NPFL teams Rangers International of Enugu, Sunshine Stars of Akure and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri to battle things out in Group B at Kano’s Sani Abacha Stadium.
The Agege Stadium in Lagos is host to Group C, which has NPFL teams Kano Pillars, Rivers United and Abia Warriors, as well as a resurgent Kwara United FC determined to upset the bookmakers’ conjectures.
Defending champions Akwa United are in Group D, with matches at the Enyimba International Stadium, and with Wikki Tourists, Nasarawa United and Kogi United (conquerors of Niger Tornadoes) as opponents.
In the women’s competition, champions Rivers Angels are up against Bayelsa Queens Feeders and Osun Babes in Group A, with matches at the Lafia City Stadium, while the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu will host last year’s runners-up Ibom Angels, Delta Babes and Confluence Queens of Lokoja in Group B.
The Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Odu will entertain Bayelsa Queens, Nasarawa Amazons and Sunshine Queens in Group C while Group D comprises Delta Queens, FC Robo Queens of Lagos and Edo Queens with the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar as venue.
The two–top placed teams in each group in both men and women's categories will proceed to the quarterfinals, which will hold on Wednesday, 3rd October.
Federation Cup 2018 Group Stage Draw (Men)
GROUP A (GOMBE; PATANI STADIUM)
ENYIMBA FCJ. ATETE FC
GROUP B (KANO; SANI ABACHA STADIUM)
SUPREME COURT FC
GROUP C (LAGOS; AGEGE STADIUM)
GROUP D (ABA; ENYIMBA INTERNATIONAL STADIUM)
Federation Cup 2018 Group Stage Draw (Women)
GROUP A (LAFIA; LAFIA TOWNSHIP STADIUM)
BAYELSA QUEENS FEEDERS
GROUP B (ENUGU; NNAMDI AZIKIWE STADIUM)
GROUP C (IJEBU-ODE: DIPO DINA STADIUM)
GROUP D (CALABAR: U.J. ESUENE STADIUM)
FC ROBO QUEENS