Unilag marines host Uniben royals as higher institutions football league (HIFL) kicks off tomorrow

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Unilag will enter the history books tomorrow
when it hosts the first match of the maiden
Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL ) at its
sports centre located inside the school ’s premises .
The match, featuring Unilag Marines against
Uniben Royals , will kick off by 4 .00 p. m .
Dubbed the star match of the opening week of the
competition, the clash promises great excitement
as top officials of NUGA, NUC and the Nigeria
Football Federation (NFF ), alongside renowned
retired internationals and top football
administrators prepare to grace the exciting duel .
The fixtures were released at the draws for the
2018 edition of the HIFL, which held in Lagos
recently.
In another exciting fixture, two top universities
in the country , University of Ibadan and Obafemi
Awolowo University will lock horns in a battle of
supremacy .
During the draws , the 16 institutions pioneering
the league were paired into two zones, Sahel and
Coastal, while the two zones were also split into
two. Schools from the Northern part of the
country will play in Sahel A and B , while those
from the South will play against one another in
Coastal A and B .
Chief Technical Director , Pace Sports and
Entertainment Marketing , Olamide Adeyemo
explained that the 16 participating teams were
divided into the Coastal Conference (South ) and
the Sahel Conference (North ) for reasons of
proximity and effective administration .
In Sahel A, BUK Stallions will be up against UDU
Sultans , while Unilorin Warriors and ABU Nobles
will fight it out in the other game .
Sahel B will see ATBU Bravehearts playing
against Jos Highlanders , with UNIMAID Desert
Warriors and UAM Tillers battling for the other
slot in the group.
Coastal A opens with the battle for supremacy
between UNILAG Marines and UNIBEN Royals ,
while the UI Pioneers take on the OAU Giants .
The four games in Coastal B are UNN Lions versus
UNICAL Malabites and UNIPORT Sharks against
DELSU Titans .
Speaking during the draw , HIFL Technical
Consultant and former NFF board member , Gara
Gombe said it was a new dawn in university
games as the competition opens a platform to
improve on the game of football in the country .
“ Despite the challenges we are facing in the
country especially in our football , something good
must come out of it and that’s the HiFL ,” Gara –
Gombe said .
“ I have to say a big thank you to the management
of NUGA and Nigeria Universities Commission for
buying into our idea of having a league among
universities in the country .
“ This is an experimental league with 16 teams
and by next year , we will expand it with zonal
qualifications involving more schools in the
country .”
The first legs of the games have been scheduled
for August 1 and 8 , while the second leg will take
place on August 15 and 22 across the two zones ,
Sahel and Coastal.
In a bid to grow collegiate sports in Nigeria, HIFL
was launched this year by PACE Sports and
Entertainment Marketing as the first organised
collegiate football league in the country .

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