The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA) and Pace Sports and Entertainment Limited to promote football league in the Nigerian University System (NUS) tagged: Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) as published in the NUC Monday Bulletin of 5th March, 2018.
As a follow up of the MoU, a Draws Dinner of the HiFL, was recently held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. The Executive Secretary National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar A. Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL was represented by the Deputy Director, Students Welfare and Gender Issues, Ms. Rita Okonjo.
The HiFL’s competition was expected to expose talented university students to clubs’ coaches and scouts that would turn them into ready materials for the National Teams. The organizers of the league, Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited in collaboration with the NUGA, informed guests present at the event, that sixteen (16) universities would be featured in the maiden competition while other universities registered with NUGA would come on board in subsequent editions.
At the event, 16 universities were paired into two zones, namely; Sahel, made up of universities in Northern Nigeria and Coastal, universities in Southern Nigeria. Sahel and Coaster were further split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ respectively.
Sahel ‘A’ comprised, Bayero University’s team, known as (Kano Stallions) which would play against Usmanu Danfodio University team, known as (Sultan), while University of Ilorin (Warriors) and Ahmadu Bello University (Nobles) would tackle it out. Sahel ‘B’ on the other hand, which comprised Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (Brave Heart) would meet with University of Jos (Highlanders), while University of Maiduguri (Desert Warriors), would face University of Agriculture, Makurdi (Tillers) in the game.
The Coaster ‘A’ group has University of Ibadan (Pioneers) taking on Obafemi Awolowo University (Giants), and University of Lagos (Marines), would battle it out with university of Benin, (Royals).The remaining four games in Coaster ‘B’ would be between university of Nigeria, Nsukka (Lions) and University of Calabar (Malabites), while University of Port-Harcourt (Sharks) would slog it out with Delta State University (Titans).
16 male models paraded the newly unveiled jerseys of the 16 universities. These matches according to the organizers would be on home and away basis, starting from 1st August 2018 and would be played simultaneously.
The Executive Secretary in his goodwill message felicitated with the Green White Green, the technical consultant, Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited and the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), on the special occasion and explained that Nigerian universities as Centres of Excellence in all fields of human learning and development cannot be said to be complete without robust and vibrant sporting activities that would stimulate students’ social, mental and physical abilities.
He expressed that the National Universities Commission (NUC) was delighted and proud to associate with the organizers of the project and would not relent in its efforts to continue to support the noble course.
The project was seen as a land mark in repositioning sports in the Nigerian University System. He affirmed that all over the world, sports sector has been very dynamic although capital intensive, which has the capacity to bolster the image of nations.
He however opined that sports also required a great deal of private sector participation and appealed to corporate organizations, multi-national companies and well-meaning Nigerians to support this course through sponsorship and collaborations as it require funds to succeed and sustained.
The Executive Secretary concluded by stating that this project would in no doubt promote sporting activities in the universities and in turn, impact the nation at large.
Others present at the event were Director Pace Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Sola Fijabi, Technical Consultant, Higher Institutions Sports League (HiSL), Alhaji Gara Gombe, Vice President, NUGA, Emeka Ogbu who represented the President at the event, Professor M.G. Yakasai and Dr. Nick Igbokwe of NUGA, the Executive Director, Brooks and Blake Nigeria Limited Taiwo Ogunwumi, the Directors of Sports of the 16 pioneer universities, some leaders of industries and Ex-International footballers.