By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Following their CAF Confederation Cup engagement this weekend, Rivers United has communicated to the Organizers of the 2020 Dapo Abiodun Cup their management decision to disengage from the pre-season tournament.
Rivers United will travel to Equatorial Guinea this week as they begin their 2020/2021 CAF Confederation Cup campaign in the Preliminary round against Futuro Kings on November 28th.
According to the club’s official communication to the organizers of the Dapo Abiodun Cup, Rivers United General Manager Chief Okey Kpalukwu explained the reasons behind his team disengagement from the prestigious pre-season tournament.
“We want to apologize to the organizers of this tournament, our decision to disengage from the tournament was a difficult one. We have to travel back to Port-Harcourt and conduct the COVID-19 test for our players and officials. We have to perfect our travel plans and make arrangements for all necessary documentation.
“We appreciate the Organizers for their amazing support for our team final phase of preparation, we got a good grass pitch to train in Ijebu-ode and the competition from other teams in the tournament has helped our coaches to perfect the team ahead of our continental games. We are grateful for the opportunity and we will participate in the future tournament,” said Kpalukwu.
The Tournament Coordinator, Oye Bawala appreciates the NPFL side on behalf of the organizers and wishes them a successful season.
“We appreciate Rivers United for honouring our invitation, they added glamour to the tournament and we commend their sportsmanship behavior all through the tournament. We have accepted their decision, our objective with the tournament is to create a good platform for the clubs to perfect their preparation ahead of the new season and we are glad Rivers United have benefited hugely.
“We wish the team success in the CAF Confederation Cup, we are hopeful they will make Nigerians proud and give their best against Futuro Kings this weekend,” said Bawala.
Rivers United defeated MFM FC on Sunday in their quarter-final game to set up a semifinal fixture with Shooting Stars who defeated Bendel Insurance 2-1 in their own game.
The Organizing Committee of the pre-season tourney has decided that Shooting Stars will progress to the final and meet the winner between Kwara United and Lobi Stars on Tuesday. Kwara United and Lobi Stars will face-off in the only semifinal game scheduled for Monday at 4 pm.
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