Lokoja will play an important part in who wins the 2012/2013 Nigeria Professional Football League when Kogi State capital hosts the 2013 Federation Cup champions, Enyimba International FC of Aba and Kano Pillars who are the League defending champions at the 25,000 Olympic-sized Lokoja Confluence Stadium on Tuesday.
The Tuesday tie is for many a title-decider saw the early arrival of Enyimba International FC of Aba in Lokoja on Saturday afternoon, while the Kano Pillars stormed the Confluence City on Sunday afternoon on course to defend their league title.
The Elephants of Aba were stripped of three points and three goals by the Organizing and Disciplinary Appeal Committee of Nigeria Football Federation following an appeal sitting over the botched week-31 match in Kano.
SavidNews.com on a pre-match visit to the two-club camps in Lokoja exclusively gathered their views ahead of the Tuesday encounter of the two Nigerian top giants coaches.
What the two-club Coaches have to say:
First, Enyimba FC of Aba
Imama Amapakabo for Enyimba FC and former Sharks of Port-Harcourt speaking on his return to Lokoja for the fourth time, his side’s preparedness among other matters.
“Though we are yet to come to terms with NFF’s O&D verdict, we are happy to be here and are fully prepared, unfazed but determined to show our desire for a double on the pitch on Tuesday”
“I’m happy been here on my fourth visit – we have always enjoined good support everywhere we go probably because of our pedigree. But the reason while the NFF will banish Kano Pillars to Lokoja to play their rest home matches and still opted we play in Lokoja despite the match is behind close-door- I think we Are still playing away on Pillars home”.
“The decision is funny, the rules is clear – with the admittance of encroachment by the Pillars, LMC and NFF, we deserve the 3 points & 3 goals with reference to NFF’s verdict on Kwara United vs Warri Wolves for encroachment article 4.3.9 and 4.3.10”.
“We are determined to win the match to complete our target for a double – we already have the Federation Cup in our bag and the league title at sight – we are here to win and as team will play as unit to reward the people of Aba and our fans for their supports.”
“Well its disappointing that the people of Kogi is not going to watch the best of Nigeria football when we play Kano Pillars but that won’t after our performance nor result tough we are going to miss them.”
Second, Kano Pillars of Kano
Coach Baba Ganaru of Kano Pillars speak on his fifth visit to the Kogi state capital with sights on retaining the league trophy for the Pyramids with victory over rivals, Enyimba FC.
“We are here for a crucial game – we are well-prepared and in high-spirit going up against Enyimba, it will be a tough game but we are determined to consolidated on our ambition to win the league title by get a victory on Tuesday.”
“For the venue, many people are very scare of Pillars because we have good fan-base across the country – here for some is our home, they may be right but with the game to be played without spectators – but we have no problem with the venue.”
“For me I don’t was to comment about the verdict but still think it is harsh and unfair because Enyimba only capitalized on fans taking to the pitch without no intention of attacking anyone but rejoice with players as avenue to deliberately abandon the game seeing we were leading 1-0 with few minutes to go”.
“Focused on winning the game to retain the league title this season- we want to reward the good people of Kano state and Government”.
“I am not happy we will be without the spectators, i believe we enjoined great supports of fans everywhere we have played will miss them but that won’t affect our performance”
The Confluence State is expected to be agog despite game fixed for a close-door match billed for 4PM on Tuesday.
Who are backing for victory and your predictions?