After the successful hosting of the first edition of the Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) in 2018, organizers of the biggest collegiate football competition in Nigeria has promised to increase the numbers of participating schools from 16 to 32 in order to accommodate more schools for the 2019 edition.
The 2019 edition will see a total of 70 Universities across the country take part in a feisty qualifying stage that will produce the 32 seeded teams that will be grouped for the tournament which will be played within 21 weeks.
Reacting to the 2019 edition of the tournament which has been termed “bigger, bolder and better” chief strategy officer Pace Sports and Entertainment Limited Olamide Adeyemo has stated that the HiFL brand is being created to improve the lives of the players not just on the field. “When you talk about HiFL it is beyond football, undergraduates, lecturers, campuses, it is about improving lives and contributing to the country and the continent.”
The University of Agriculture Makurdi won the Inaugural edition of the competition beating the University of Calabar 5 – 4 on penalties and Olamide has revealed to footballlive.ng that one of the benefits of winning is having the bulk of their players on scholarships. “For the team that won the last Edition University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM Tillers) they got scholarships throughout their stay as students beyond the scholarship the best XI and the school that won, we are getting players from that particular school to mix with other schools in a boot camp for the world university games coming up in Naples Italy from 3rd to 14th July.
Some of them have signed contracts; some of them have gone for trials so beyond professional and academic advancement we are providing the platform to engage them internationally to fly the colors of Nigeria as bright as possible at the World University Games in July.”
Olamide Adeyemo has also revealed that top goal scorer of the 2018 edition of the league Ebuka David who recently got signed to NPFL giant Kano Pillars will be the face of the competition for 2019. “Before the group stage begins you’ll see quite a lot of PR around Ebuka major reason is that he begins to start for Kano Pillars and we feel it is not just enough to sign a player but it is enough that player plays.