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Akwa United’s cup victory will douse tension in state, says Ekpo

Akwa United and Lobi Stars battling for supremacy during the Federation Cup final held in Lagos…on Sunday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.

Akwa United and Lobi Stars battling for supremacy during the Federation Cup final held in Lagos…on Sunday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI.

FORMER Super Eagles midfielder, Friday Ekpo, has said Akwa United’s Federation Cup victory on Sunday will bring respite to the already tensed situation in the state after the governorship elections.

Akwa United defeated Lobi Stars 2-1 on Sunday at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, to win their first Federation Cup title.

Speaking to The Guardian yesterday, the former Abiola Babes star, who also won the cup, then known as Challenge Cup, said: “I want to thank God Almighty for Sunday’s victory and I equally want to say a big congratulations to the boys because it was as if they knew what the state needed. It came at a time when we needed respite after so much disputes and rancour immediately after the elections.

“Just imagine the honour on me without the cup, it would have been sad. Now I can rejoice because the players did us proud. Before the match they knew I was going to be honoured and now they have made my joy and the state complete.”

Ekpo, who was among the players honoured during the finals of the Federation Cup played at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, said: “This cup success also came at a time when I was equally honoured as one of the legends of the FA Cup (Federation Cup). To me it was a double victory as you may recall that I too won the cup in 1985 with Abiola Babes of Abeokuta. This victory is great, it is wholesome, and it really speaks volumes of the state’s determination.”

Ekpo said Akwa United was successful because “handwork, dedication, team spirit all came into play.

The boys played for one purpose, which was to create upset, this they achieved by putting their energy, minds towards taking the FA Cup home for the first time in the history of the state.”

The diminutive former player, however, advised Akwa United to begin preparation for next season early, adding: “Preparation should start now for the continental assignment, which is around the corner after qualifying for next year’s Confederation Cup. There will be no better time to do this than now because when the continental championship starts, the Nigeria’s league will still be off.

“So, they should start recruiting now and maintain the stability of their good players.”



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