Rivers United FC may not take part in the Super 4 tournament that will herald the start of the 2016/17 Nigeria Professional League season, Naijafootball247.com can authoritatively reveal.
A person who should know in the management of the club told Naijafootball247.com exclusively that the team is currently in Abuja preparing to leave for Spain on a ten day training tour, hence will not be part of the Super 4.
“I do not think we will play the Super 4. In fact, we will not play it,” Naijafootball247.com was told.
“We are right now in Abuja and while we are playing friendly matches, we are at the visa office for applications.
“Hopefully, we get our visas and depart for Spain on the 4th of December to return on the 14th and go straight to the League games. That is the program as it is now.”
The Super 4 is played among the 4 teams that will represent Nigeria on the continent in 2017 as a way of preparing them for the challenge ahead.
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In the event of Rivers United failing to play the tournament, they will be replaced by Nasarawa United who finished second in the Federation Cup or Lobi Stars who were fifth in the League.
However, a source at the League Management Company who wanted to remain unnamed told Naijafootball247.com that a top official of Rivers United was at the League’s office and he said nothing about his club not attending.
“What he rather said was that they will be in Spain but will raise a team to play in the Super 4 in two weeks’ time.
“However, we have our reservations about that arrangement since we all know the Super 4 is a big tournament and would not want anyone to water it down.
“If for whatever reason they cannot come, they should let us know on time so we can replace them with either the 5th placed team in the league or the Federation Cup runners up.”
After finishing 2nd in the Nigeria Professional Football League, the Rivers State governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike announced half a million naira each to players of the team and a training tour in Spain ahead of the CAF Champions League next year.
The team has been in Abuja four about five days and on Thursday afternoon beat Abuja based City strikers 4-1 in a friendly match.
The team will also play a tournament in Kaduna next week before leaving for Spain.