9ja FlavourAfrican Football

EXPLAINED: How El-Kanemi Warriors’ Federation Cup win saved Nigeria from Enyimba/Abia Warriors CAF Confederation Cup confusion

El-Kanemi Warriors defeated Abia Warriors 2-0 to win the 2024 President Federation Cup title. Here is how that triumph saved Nigeria from a potential Enyimba/Abia Warriors continental confusion.

Had Abia Warriors triumphed over El-Kanemi Warriors in the President Federation Cup final on Saturday, Enyimba FC would have faced disqualification from the CAF Confederation Cup. The registration deadline for both the Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League closes this Sunday.

Per SportsVillage, sources within the Confederation of African Football (CAF) informed that the eligibility code for inter-club competitions prohibits two clubs owned fully or partially by the same entity from participating in the same competition. Both Enyimba FC and Abia Warriors are owned and funded by the Abia State Government.

Had Abia Warriors won the cup, they would have qualified for the Confederation Cup alongside Enyimba. However, similar to UEFA competitions, CAF regulations do not permit teams owned by the same body to compete in the same competition, in this case, the CAF Confederation Cup. This rule is outlined in Section L.03 of Article 55 of the CAF Men’s Licensing Regulations (2022 edition).

CAF regulations prioritize the national cup winner over the third-placed league team in countries eligible to enter two teams. Consequently, Enyimba, the third-placed team, would have been disqualified, and their spot would have been given to the next available team, Shooting Stars, who finished fourth in the league.

This scenario echoes the situation in 2022 when Kwara United, the fourth-placed team, participated in the CAF Confederation Cup because the Nigerian national cup was still at the quarter-final stage when the entry closed.

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