BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
For the fourth time, Nigeria’s oldest football competition has had a change of name as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Wednesday conferred the naming right of what used to be Federation Cup to its lead partner, the AITEO Group. It is now to be called ‘AITEO Cup’.
According to a press statement sent by the Media Department of the NFF to Sports Village Square, the renaming of the competition took place at the Lagos office of AITEO Group.
The press statement of the NFF was however silent on whether there will be a change of trophy.
The competition which first final match took place on November 7, 1945 started as the Governor’s Cup. Following changes in the Nigerian constitution, the Annual General Meeting of the then NFA on February 28, 1955 adopted the ‘All Nigeria Challenge Cup” as the official title of the competition.
The then General Secretary of the NFA Reginald Banham Allen, announced the new name which it bore until the first title sponsorship agreement which changed the name to Coca-Cola FA Cup in 1996.
On June 3, 2009, following the withdrawal of the title sponsors and the change of name by the football governing body from NFA to NFF, the competition changed to Federation Cup.
The press statement from the NFF disclosed that the right just acquired by AITEO will enable the company get additional asset from the NFF.
The duration of this aspect of the sponsorship is five years, similar to the main agreement (signed on 26th April 2017) on a Cost Value Arrangement and commencing from the 2017 season.
“This arrangement will see AITEO underwriting the costs of the organisation of the competition which encompasses the costs of organising the competition from the Round of 64 to the men and women’s finals, solidarity support to Football Associations of the 36 States and the FCT, expenses and indemnities of match officials, support to participating Clubs, Media, Branding/Activation and Prize Money to winners”, the NFF statement revealed..
Accordingly, for the 2017 season, the prize monies for the AITEO Cup will be N25million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10million for the winner of the women’s competition. The runner –up for the men’s competition will pocket N10million, with the runner –up for the women’s event going home with N5million. The NFF and AITEO will, in due course, unveil further details of all the benefits of the extended agreement at a press conference.
The Cost Value Arrangement of the transaction is for NFF and AITEO to, annually, decide the nature and value proposition of the AITEO Cup under the framework of the relationship, and AITEO would thus underwrite the cost as the competition’s ‘Naming Right Holder.’
The NFF team at the contract signing inside AITEO Group’s Lagos office said it was “extremely delighted” by the extended agreement, while AITEO chieftains stated “we are happy to do this for Nigeria.”