Kwara United Picks CAF Confederations Cup Ticket
By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin.
Kwara United will play in the CAF Confederations Cup this year after finishing 4th in the 2021/2022 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
CAF, Africa’s football governing body, released the names of all the teams that will play in this year’s competition and Kwara United’s name appeared on the list.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) chiefs decided to choose Kwara United due to the deadline in CAF registration of clubs for continental games this year. Normally, the winners of the Aiteo Cup would have been chosen, but the competition is still ongoing and Kwara United who finished 4th on the NPFL table were then considered.
This latest development has thrown all Kwarans into massive jubilation considering the fact that Kwara United last played Continental games in 2011 under Coach Kadiri Ikhana. Meanwhile, Kwara United will find out their opponents in the CAF Confederations Cup on Tuesday.
Jubilation as @KwaraUnitedFC will play in the CAF Confederations Cup for finishing 4th in #NPFL22 Season. CAF released participating Club on Sunday night. @thenff picked @KwaraUnitedFC due to CAF registration deadline as Aiteo Cup is still ongoing. Draws is on Tuesday in Egypt. pic.twitter.com/7dTlj4y5fT
— Kwara United F.C. (@KwaraUnitedFC) August 8, 2022
The Kwara State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has described the continental ticket handed to the state’s team, as a reward for the government’s commitment to the team and sports development generally.
In a statement signed by the Secretary of the association, Olayinka Owolewa, the body also said that it’s also a reward for the determination of the management to change the narrative in the state, as it concerns the club.
Rivers United FC and Plateau United FC will play in the CAF Champions League, while Remo Stars and Kwara United will play in the CAF Confederation Cup.
While congratulating the team, SWAN called for early preparation for the team ahead of the bigger challenge, to ensure good representation in the competition. Kwara United will have to reconstitute the technical crew, and recruit more tested players in preparation for the competition.
The body also urged the government to adequately support the club and also ensure that all the necessary infrastructure, and other facilities are put in place in time ahead of the commencement of the competition.
Kwara United had previously played in the CAF competition twice, in the 1999/2000 and 2006/2007 seasons and ended their campaigns on the two occasions in the quarter-finals.