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Aiteo Cup: Heartland petitions Sports Minister, wants NFF to confirm club as s’finalists

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The management of Heartland Football Club of Owerri has taken its case in the Aiteo Cup crisis to the Sports Minister Sunday Dare.

The club, in a statement signed by its Acting General Manager, Promise Nwachukwu, said it wants the Sports Minister to wade into the matter and ensure that the club is not unjustly made to replay the quarter-final match against Katsina United which had been won and lost on the field of play.

The NFF had after its Abuja meeting last week surprisingly inserted a clause in which it said Heartland and Katsina would be compensated with N5 million should they chose to replay, a clause which Heartland totally rejects.

The club maintained the only way the NFF would clear any doubt of foul play is to make an unambiguous statement confirming that Heartland is through to the semi-final while awaiting the other three quarter-final matches billed for August 20.

The statement read in part: “The only way the NFF would reassure us that they are not up to anything sinister is to make it clear that Heartland is through to the semi-final.”

Nwachukwu in the release, stressed that no club should be given undue advantage in the Aiteo FA Cup race, especially now that the competition is in its crucial stages, even as the sponsors, fans, stakeholders and the Nigerian football community are watching to see how the oldest cup competition in the country is managed.

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