Francis Ajuonuma, Lagos
A total of 20 teams will battle for the converted trophy at the 4th All Stars Football Tournament set to kick off in the first week of November at the popular Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) Football Pitch, Surulere, Lagos.
The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Sunny Epochi, who made this known at a media briefing to herald the tournament which is meant for ex footballers of the age of 40 years and above, said the 20 teams have been drawn into four groups of five teams each with the best two from each group at the end of the group stage qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Patron of the All Stars Football Tournament, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, while speaking on his expectations from the tournament which is being sponsored by Premier Lotto and supported by Nigeria Breweries, PLC, noted that the annual competition has become synonymous with Nigerian football, assuring that this year’s edition will be better than the previous editions and urged the competing teams to be of good behaviour at the tournament.
“The All Stars Football Tournament has become synonymous with Nigerian Football. So we intend to put up better tournament this time around.
“It’s my hope that all the participating team will do their best to make this competition worthwhile. We intend to give it all it takes to make it successful,” he said.
Defending champions, Oregun All Stars, who will open their title campaign against Ilupeju All Stars in Group A, will also keep a date with Portsmouth, Olympics and LASU All Stars. In Group B are Firm All Stars, Apapa Ijora All Stars, Euro 65 All Stars, Bungalow All Stars and Ipaja/Ayobo All Stars.
Last year semifinalists, St. Mary’s All Stars are drawn in Group C where they will face Ojota All Stars, Maracana All Stars, Olusosun All Stars and Loco All Stars, while Group D will feature Pako All Stars, Oworo All Stars, Apapa Iganmu All Stars, NPA All Stars and Bariga All Stars.