Chairman of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL), Gbenga Elegbeleye, has explained that IMC chose the best eight teams in the 2022/23 season to play in the forthcoming Dozy Mmobuosi Pre-season Cup.
Some clubs complained over the criteria used in choosing participants in the first edition held last year. The league champions, Rivers United, and some of the other top teams in the 2021/22 NPFL season were ignored by the organisers, who were accused by aggrieved clubs of picking lowly-placed teams for the championship.
But Elegbeleye, yesterday, explained that the choice of Bendel Insurance, Enyimba, 3SC and Enugu Rangers was because the organisers wanted to begin the competition with clubs that had won continental competitions for the country.
The maiden champions of the competition, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, won the Cup Winners Cup in 1976; Enugu Rangers won the same competition a year later, while Bendel Insurance won the CAF Cup in 1994.
Enyimba became the first and only Nigerian club to win the CAF Champions League when they took the crown back-to-back in 2003 and 2004.
Speaking in Lagos, yesterday, Elegbeleye said the organisers decided to choose the best teams from the 2022/23 season to participate in the second edition.
This, he said, would spur other teams to work hard to earn big money from the pre-season competition.He said: “The winner of the NPFL/Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup will earn N1 billion, the second placed team will earn N200 million, while each of the teams will get N20 million as participation bonus.
“The clubs involved in the competition have shown that they can give football fans what they want to see. I am sure that other clubs would be motivated to work harder to become part of the competition in coming editions.”
The NPFL/Dozy Mmobuosi Super Cup, sponsored by Dozy Mmobuosi Foundation, is the biggest pre-season championship in West Africa. It will usher in the 2023/24 season, which is projected to begin in August.
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