Former Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions, Kano Pillars FC will compete in the fifth edition of Gold Cup Pre-season Tournament.


The Gold Cup, which is Nigeria’s first and well organised pre-season tournament, is set to begin on Wednesday November 15 through Friday November 24, in Ilorin, Kwara State.


Following Crown FC’s withdrawal from the tournament, the organisers replaced the Ajilete Valiants with the former Gold Cup champions who are now automatic competitors in the 10- team, 10-day event billed to take place at the Kwara Sports Complex and Kwara Football Academy.


Crown FC were reported to have withdrawn from the tournament due to unwarranted circumstances and this opened the door for Sai Masu Gida to be reinstated into the biennial tournament restricted to teams playing in the three tier leagues in Nigeria.


“We have been consulting with all the teams we invited, but Crown FC won’t be participating due to unwarranted circumstances. We understand the teams’ position and make sure that in future tournaments we will give them the opportunity to participate.


“We were unable to resist Kano Pillars when they showed interest again to be part of the modest pre-season tournament in the Country,” Tunde Shamsudeen, the General Coordinator of the tourney stated.


Having replaced Crown FC, the Kano State outfit will play in Group A alongside defending champions Lobi Stars, Remo Stars, Kwara United and Rivers United.


Sunshine Stars, defunct Sharks FC, Kano Pillars and Lobi Stars have won previous editions.


The Gold Cup Pre-season Tournament is sponsored by distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, Dr. Buhari Abdul-Fatai (BAF), Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee Member, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, foremost betting company, Bet9ja, Nigeria’s leading sportswear firm, Cone, Naija League Magazine, Tribeca Code, Phoenix ASC, Matchroom, Sportspro, Select Sports, Bovina View Hotel, Stadium Hotel, New-Bell Global Investment, 11th Media Global Concept, Phreestyle Sports and Rashidi Yekini Foundation.


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