Akwa United Football Club has won the maiden edition of Aiteo Cup Final 2017 by defeating Niger Tornadoes by 3-2 on penalties.
Akwa United Football and Niger Tornadoes played full 90 minutes in regulation time without scoring. Both teams missed several scoring chances.
But, Gabriel Ikechukwu of Akwa United scored the sixth and final sport kick that won his club the title. During a penalty shoot-out, Akwa United missed three scoring chances while Niger Tornadoes missed four.
Akwa United Football Club went home with N25 million while the second runners-up- Niger Tornadoes went home with N10 million.
By this winning, Akwa United Football Club has won the title twice in three years having won the Federation Cup in 2015. The club will represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Confederations Cup.
The Federation Cup, Nigeria’s oldest football competition, secured the sponsorship of energy solution company, AITEO on July 29th 2017, after many years without any corporate support. The competition starting from the 2017 edition became known as the AITEO Cup.
The acquisition of the naming right of the Federation Cup also formerly called the Challenge Cup, is an extension to the agreement the oil and gas giants entered with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) when its became its Technical Partner in April.
Accordingly to the sponsorship agreement, for the 2017 season, the prize monies for the AITEO Cup will be N25 million for the winner of the men’s competition and N10 million for the winner of the women’s competition.
The runner-up for the men’s competition will pocket N10 million, with the runner-up for the women’s event going home with N5 million.
The duration of the sponsorship is five years, similar to the main agreement signed on April 26, 2017.
The arrangement will see AITEO underwrite the costs of the organisation of the competition which encompasses the costs of organising the AITEO Cup 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 competition started as the Governor’s Cup in 1945 before it was changed to All Nigeria Challenge Cup in 1955. In 1996, it became the Coca cola FA Cup.
Following the withdrawal of the soda bottling company from the sponsorship of the competition and the change of the nomenclature of the association to NFF, the tournament was for the fourth time changed to Federation Cup.