Ubong Friday is the leading scorer in this year’s Men’s Federation Cup competition, and his target is to take over proceedings at the Teslim Balgoun Stadium on Sunday when Akwa United confront 2003 champions Lobi Stars in this year’s final.
Akwa United’s precocious marksman Friday has netted six times since the Round of 64 of the national competition, and is the man the boys from Uyo will expect to do great things against the more experienced Lobi Stars.
Friday netted three goals in his team’s 6-0 demolition of Dallatu United in the Round of 64, earned a brace against Peacemakers in the Round of 32 and was on song against Niger Tornadoes in a 2-2 draw in the quarter finals before Akwa United won through to the semi finals on penalty shoot-out.
A large delegation from Akwa Ibom State is expected to be led by Governor Udom Emmanuel, with host Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also certain to be at the State Box.
Word was rife on Saturday evening that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State might also hit Lagos. NFF President Amaju Pinnick, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, Members of the NFF Executive Committee and Management, Members of the NFF Congress and a number of ex –internationals will grace the occasion.
The Lagos State Government has also concluded arrangements for honouring a dozen former heroes of the Federation Cup, five of them posthumously. Those to be represented are former goalkeeper Inua Lawal Rigogo, former defender Okey Isima and former marksman Rashidi Yekini.
Still alive are former striker Dejo Fayemi, veteran journalist Segun Adenuga, former goalkeeper Amusa Adisa, former midfielder Friday Ekpo, former FIFA referee Linus Mba, former midfielder Dahiru Sadi and former strikers Baba Out Mohammed, Yisa Alabi and Ifeanyi Onyedika.
Following the conclusion of match coordination meeting on Saturday, it emerged that Lobi Stars will wear red with blue, white and black stripes, while Akwa United will be clad in blue. For the women’s match, Sunshine Queens will dorn orange and Bayelsa Queens will be in yellow.
Professor Mariam Suleiman will be match commissioner for the women’s match, with Loma M., Mimisen Iyorhe, Felicia Obile and Hadiza Musa as referee, first assistant, second assistant and reserve referee respectively. The referee assessor is Faith Irabor.
For the men’s final, Mazi Amanze Uchegbulam will be match commissioner, with Ago Abubakar, Tope Orowole, Peter Ogu and Henry Ogunyamodi as referee, first assistant, second assistant and reserve referee respectively. The referee assessor is Bello Abubakar.
NFF 1st Vice President and Chairman, NFF Organizing Committee has assured that security would be a premium on Sunday. Will Friday be able to make Sunday his day?