Historical teams give FA Cup bite
Over the years, the presence of teams with strong history has added spice to Nigeria’s knock-out competition, the Federation Cup,
which is the second club competition in the country.
These historical teams have strengthened the tradition of the
competition and remain the reason the competition has been able to
attract attention, despite the problems affecting its growth.
Sharks, 3SC (formerly called IICC Shooting Stars), Heartland (formerly called Spartans and later Iwuanyanwu
Nationale), Kwara United (formerly called Kwara State Utility Bombers), Unicem Rovers (formerly called Calabar Rovers), Ranchers
Bees (formerly called DIC Bees), First Bank, Mighty Jets and Bendel
Insurance amongst others have a rich history in the competition.
However, First Bank, Unicem Rovers, Mighty Jets and Bendel
Insurance have since exited the top flight.
Interestingly, it is not about the teams in the top flight alone.
That’s why it’s a “David vs Goliath” competition.
Although the giant-killing status of the competition remains vital, historical teams from the different leagues equally bring back nostalgic feelings.
These clubs have never made it to the top flight, but still remain very relevant to the competition. In fact, the importance of some of these small teams cannot be over-emphasized.
Perhaps, the fact that their focus is basically grassroots development explains why they have survived hard times. Today’s top stars started their careers at some of these teams.
The Cup tradition will be incomplete without the contribution of
lesser known teams like Zagbai, Wunti (Bauchi State), Bida Lions
(Niger State), El-Cruzeiro (Kaduna State), FC Arugo (Imo State) and UNEC (Enugu State) amongst others.
In recent times, the likes of Inter Enugu (Enugu State), FC Ebedei
(Ogun State), Owvian United (Delta State), Go Round (Rivers State),
Kogi United (Kogi State), Flash Flamingoes (Gombe State) and Mgbo
Ambassadors (Ebonyi State) have joined the group.
Wunti, Makwada, Zagbai
Akwa United’s Solomon Jabason, who has been in and out of the Super Eagles under Stephen Keshi started his football development at Wunti before heading for Wikki.
“I had an interesting time at Wunti,” Jabason said to
The performance of Wunti’s duo of Lawal Mohammed Kwayo and Bello
Mohammed has been recognised by Nigeria’s Under20 gaffer, John Obuh.
Both players are part of the team preparing for the Africa Youth
Wunti have since overcome a road accident in 2006 that claimed the lives of five players to become one of the established teams in the
Although Numan-based Makwada failed to honour their Federation Cup fixture against Niger Tornadoes, the club have made an impact in previous editions.
The club owned by Numan Local Government has played in this
competition since the 1980s, when it was called Challenge Cup.
Plateau United general manager/technical adviser, Bitrus Bewarang
told SuperSport.com that the performance of Zagbai against Premier League side, Akwa United did not come as a surprise to him.
“We played Zagbai in a friendly match so I know the team. The fact
that Zagbai lost on penalties to Akwa United is an indication of their
quality,” he said to SuperSport.com.
Zagbai’s Adamu Hassan is also part of Obuh’s Under20 team.