The attention of Nigerian football fans will shift to the Eket Township Stadium in Akwa Ibom State, as Naija Super 8 play-offs commence today.
The play-offs will see two teams, which polled the highest number of fan votes from each of the six geo-political zones of the country during the fan voting phase of the competition, battle for the ticket to represent the zone at the main Naija Super 8 tournament slated for the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos from 7-16 July.
Hostilities begin today with the North-Central zonal battle between City FC of Abuja and Lobi Stars of Makurdi at 1pm. In the second match of the day, the duel for the South-West ticket will be between Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan (3SC) and Remo Stars of Ikenne at 4pm. All Naija Super 8 play-off matches will be live on SuperSport Football (DStv ch 205 & GOtv ch 61), SuperSport Variety 4 (DStv ch 209), and SuperSport Select 2 (GOtv ch 64).
On Saturday, Yobe Desert Stars will face Gombe United in a North-East zonal battle at 1pm, while Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enyimba FC of Aba, will slug it out with Heartland FC of Owerri in what promises to be a fiery South-East derby at 4pm.
The ever-fervent North-West derby between Kano Pillars and Katsina United will kick-off at 1pm on Sunday, while the play-offs will end with the South-South derby between Rivers United and Bendel Insurance of Benin starting at 4pm. Each of the play-off matchdays will feature musical entertainment, with an artiste line-up of Ikpa Udo, Pasto Goody Goody and XTO.
Winners of the six matches will be joined by two wildcard teams to be unveiled by the organisers for the main Naija Super 8 tournament in July. The finals will see clubs split into two groups to play in a tournament format. The top two teams in each group will go into the semi-finals, with the winners proceeding to the final.
Clubs will earn N3million per match at the group stage, with semi-finalists also earning an additional N3million for qualifying. The runners-up will earn N9 million, while the winners will go home with N25 million.
Naija Super 8 is organised by Flykite Productions in partnership with MultiChoice Nigeria and sponsors, MTN, Hero Lager, DStv, GOtv, SuperSport, Moniepoint, Pepsi and Custodian Assurance.