Lagos now to host President Federation Cup grand finale

The Nigeria Football Federation has announced that the grand finale of the country’s oldest Cup competition will now take place at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos on Saturday, 29th June.

Earlier scheduled for the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja (which would have seen the city host the final for the first time in the competition’s history), the NFF and GTI announced on Sunday they have opted for the good old venue on Lagos Island, which hosted the final of the competition consecutively between 1945 and 1972.

First known as Association Ground, then as King George V and later as Lagos City Ground, the venue later became known as Onikan Stadium after it was rebuilt in the 1980s. It became known as Mobolaji Johnson Arena in 2021.

The last grand finale to take place at the famous venue was also a memorable one. In 1972, Bendel Insurance FC led Mighty Jets FC 2-0 before two late goals by the late Sam Garba Okoye tied the game, and it had to be replayed two days later at the Liberty Stadium (now known as the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium), Ibadan.

Apart from the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on the waterfront, the City of Lagos has hosted several other finals of the competition now known as President Federation Cup. The National Stadium, Surulere – built for the 2nd All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 1973 – hosted the grand finale between 1974 and 1987, as well as the 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 finals.

The Teslim Balogun Stadium, adjacent to the National Stadium in Surulere, hosted the finale in 2007 and 2009, and then consecutively between 2011 and 2016.

The Agege City Stadium hosted the 2017 grand finale.

This year’s grand finale will see Rivers Angels confront Naija Ratels in the women’s event, while Abia Warriors take on El-Kanemi Warriors in the men’s event.