Following Sunday’s 2017 Aiteo Cup final between winners Akwa United and Niger Tornadoes,‘s JAMES AGBEREBI highlights FIVE high points from the first final of the FA Cup sponsored by oil and gas company, Aiteo Group.

1. Not a Classic Cup FinalIn spite of the prematch hype of the grand finale of the 2017 Aiteo Cup between Akwa United and Niger Tornadoes, it did not live up to expectation, unfortunately.
All the expectations of a memorable final ended up in disappointment for bothe television viewers and fans at the stadium as both teams failed to light up the big occasion.

And after 90 minutes of drab football, the game went into penalties which didn’t fare any better as players from both sides displayed poor spot-kick techniques.

Akwa United eventually emerged 3-2 victors in the shootout to claim the maiden Aiteo Cup trophy, cum second FA Cup title.


2. Impressive Turnout

Compared to previous finals, an outstanding positive side of the 2017 Aiteo Cup final was the massive turnout of Lagos fans at the Agege Stadium which made the atmosphere electrifying.

Unlike previous recent NFF FA Cup finals where empty seats were obvious, it was not the case on Sunday following the impressive turnout by fans who  took up virtually every available space at Agege Stadium.

Though, just 4,000 seating capacity, the high number of fans who thronged the Agege Stadium will encourage organisers of the Aiteo Cup to patronize again it for next year’s final.

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3. Well Organised Cup Final

Another interesting aspect of the 2017 Aiteo Cup final which made it stood out was the general organisation of the big occasion.

Despite the two teams making it a drab match, thumbs up should go to the organisers for putting up a befitting final.

Right from the entrance of the stadium, there was orderliness thanks to the heavy presence of well equiped security personnel.

Even after the game, there was no urgly scene of fans invading the pitch during the medal and trophy presentation.

The fireworks that lit up the arena after the beautiful Aiteo Cup trophy was handed to Akwa united added colour to an already impressive and well organised event.

4. Presence of Governors And CAF Chieftains 

Another high point of the 2017 Aiteo Cup was the presence of the who-is-who in African football and governors who graced the occasion.

Among the top personalities at the Agege Stadium on Sunday were Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Akwa Ibom State governor Udom Emmanuel and Niger State governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, First Vice President Kwesi Nyantakyi, Second Vice President Constant Omari Selemani and CAF Emergency Committee member, Souleiman Waberi were all in attendance.

Also, NFF President Amaju Pinick, NFF First Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi and LMC boss Shehu Dikko were also present.

aiteo-nff-akwa united-tornadoes

5. Overzealous Security Personnel

Despite a well organised Aiteo Cup final, one sour point was the poor behaviour of some of the security personnel against journalists.

It is common knowledge that at the end of a football match, journalists are given access to players and officials for post-match interviews.

Unfortunately, that was not the case as pressmen were stopped from gaining access to carry out their duties without any cogent reason.

Not even the accreditation tags shown to the security personnel was enough to convince them as they stood their ground.

After much persuasion and explanations, press men were eventually allowed access to the players and club officials.