University of Lagos will host University of Benin on matchday 1 of Coastal Conference A in the inaugural edition of Higher Institutions Football League starting 1 August across the nation.
According to the draw conducted on Friday night at External Ballroom, Federal Palace Hotels, Victoria Island, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, will host University of Calabar in Coastal Conference B on same day, with the return legs of both fixtures slated for 15 August.
University of Ibadan will entertain Delta State University while University of Port Harcourt host Obafemi Awolowo University in Coastal Conference matchday 2 fixtures scheduled for 8 August.
In the Sahel Conference, which comprises teams from northern part of the country, Ahmadu Bello University will host Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Group A on 1 August while Bayero University, Kano will entertain University of Jos in Group B on 15 August.
Preceding the draw conducted by ex Nigeria internationals, Victor Agali, Friday Elahor and Festus Odini, was the unveiling of beautifully designed jerseys for the 16 participating universities and spell-binding rendition of the tournament’s theme song.
In his keynote address that kicked off the well-attended occasion, CEO, Green and White Sports Centre and Technical Consultant to HiFL, Alhaji Ahmed Shuaibi Gara-Gombe, expressed gratitude to sponsors Stanbic IBTC and all stakeholders, asserting that prudence, accountability and transparency are the watchword of the organizers.
University of Calabar, University of Maiduguri, University of Ilorin Usman Danfodiyo University and University of Agriculture, Makurdi are other universities taking part in the tournament to be played on knockout basis.
Four teams will qualify from both conferences for the semi-finals billed for the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, with the best players selected into a team to represent Nigeria at next year’s International University Sports Federation (FISU) games, the world’s largest collegiate sports competition in Italy.