By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) top teams Kano Pillars, Heartland FC, Enugu Rangers and Akwa United among others will next Wednesday at different centers stake their pride against minors in the second round of the 2021 AITEO Cup competition.
According to the fixture released by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Head, Aiteo Cup Competition, Wilfred Onaji, no fewer than 21 matches involving 42 teams will be played on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 across Nigeria.
The star match of the day will be the encounter between two NPFL teams, Jigawa Golden Stars and Plateau United which will take place at Gombe, Gombe state.
But all eyes will be on matches involving Premier League teams and minors like the Kano Pillars versus little known Smart FC tie at Lokoja Township stadium just as Kwara United will take on Kebbi United in Minna, Niger state.
Elsewhere, embattled Heartland of Owerri will clash with lowly Ekiti United at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City while Warri Wolves FC will trade tackles with Green Berets in Ilorin, Kwara state.
In Owerri Center, Sunshine Stars FC of Akure will ambush Kogi United at Dan Anyiam stadium as Bendel Insurance has a date with Nasarawa United at Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium Enugu.
Also, Katsina United will host El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri in Jos; Akwa United and Gateway FC of Abeokuta will play in Abuja while Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) will confront Gombe United in Lokoja.
Wikki Tourists FC and Osun United will also play at Lokoja Township stadium while the winner of the postponed first round match between Bayelsa United and NAF will meet Enugu Rangers International in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun state.
The clash between Yobe Desert Warriors and Lobi Stars of Makurdi is slated for Kaduna just as Sokoto United and Rivers United tie will take place in Lafia.
Zamfara United will test the resolve of Premier League team, Abia Warriors FC at Lafia Township stadium while none league team, FC Mai Angwa will confront National League side, Niger Tornadoes in Kano.
All the matches will kick off by 3 pm except Pillars, Smart tie billed for 10 am at Lokoja even as the 3SC versus Gombe and Sokoto and Rivers matches will be played by 1 pm at Lokoja and Lafia respectively.
NFF has directed the affected states Football Associations (FAs) including the host states and participating teams to take notice of the date and time of matches next Wednesday.