The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has proposed dates for both the Men and Women’s category of the 2021 Aiteo Cup competition in view of the June 30 deadline by CAF for countries to submit names of registered players and clubs for continental competitions.
In 2020, the tournament could not hold due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic but defending champions, Kano Pillars were registered to represent the country in the Confederation Cup.
The Aiteo Cup is a single elimination football knockout tournament that features teams across 36 states of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The Organising Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), deliberated on the directives by CAF that all countries should submit,by 30th June 2021, names of teams that will take part in the various CAF competitions for 2021,”the NFF said in a statement.
“In view of the above, the Committee concluded that all State Football Associations should produce one (1) representative latest 14th June 2021. Each State should produce their Aiteo Cup Licenses.”
“At the Federation level, a uniform license will be produced by the NFF for the National Stage of the Aiteo Cup competition. A National Draw will be held at a date to be communicated for the 37 teams that qualify,” the statement added.
The tournament was created in 1945 as the Governor’s Cup and was initially dominated by Lagos teams. Later it was known as the Nigeria FA Cup from (1954–1959), Nigeria Challenge Cup (1960–1998), Coca-Cola FA Cup (1999–2008) and Nigeria Federation Cup (2009–2016).
Since 2017, the competition has been sponsored by the AITEO group and has been known as the AITEO Cup including the women’s tournament.
Shooting Stars are the most successful clubs, having won the competition eight times, followed by the defunct Lagos Railways with 7 titles, and the Enugu Rangers with six titles.
The 2018/19 season was the 73rd edition of the competition, and the Kano Pillars defeated Niger Tornadoes 4–3 on penalties to represent Nigeria in the CAF Confederation Cup in 2019/2020 season.