Over 40 Collegiate Teams Jostle For Title As HiFL Commences

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No fewer than 40 collegiate teams across higher institutions of learning in Nigeria are set to jostle for the Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) 2021 season title as the league is set to commence in April.

The title is currently domiciled at the University of Calabar (UNICAL) and the teams are set to begin the race to win the 2021 Higher Institutions Football League (HIFL).

Speaking at the International press conference recently, the organisers said preparations are in top gear to ensure that lovers of football in the country enjoy the best of collegiate football this season.

According to Director, PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Ltd, Mr Sola Fijabi, “We have had a series of consultations with our partners, the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), sponsors and other relevant stakeholders across the board and we are glad to have come to a consensus that we can go ahead with the 2021 football season. We have also studied international football games and how they have been able to pull off the games despite the restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, we were optimistic that we have a strategy that will lead to a successful season.

“Beyond the physical games, we have other activities that will keep our fans engaged as we create value. Feedbacks on the Masterclass Series with StanbicIBTC for the 2020 season showed that we were able to build the capacity of a lot of young people that joined the webinars. The HiFL E-games, a virtual collegiate football tournament, was another innovation that ensured that our fans did not miss out on the lack of physical games for the 2020 season due to the lockdowns. We hope to sustain the momentum even as we resume play on the field,” Fijabi explained.

He explained further, “The qualifying rounds would take place between April and May 2021. Draws for the round of 16 will take place in June and run through September. The HiFL Super Four Finals rounds off the season in September in Lagos.”

In his remark, the President, Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), Prof. Stephen Hamafyelto, commended the organisers as he declared the readiness of the schools to host the games in line with COVID-19 protocols.

“We once again congratulate the organisers on finding new and inventive ways to connect both our students and the larger school community via innovative ideas in 2020 and remain optimistic of a more holistic engagement this year as schools all over resume academic activities”, Hamafyelto said.

Already, Stanbic IBTC is a major sponsor of HiFL while Nivea Men and Minimie Chinchin has also joined as a new sponsor.

Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) is an annual football competition for higher education institutions in Nigeria. The League is open to all member universities of the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) and all games except the Final Four are played in the campuses of participating schools. Winners of the League are scheduled to represent Nigeria at the Summer Universiade of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) games. It is the football franchise of Higher Institutions Sports League (HiSL™), an asset created and managed by PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited.

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