Two-time winners Enyimba, Warri Wolves and Lobi Stars have been drawn in the ‘Group of Death’ of this year’s Federation Cup.
In Friday’s draw in Abuja, the three Nigeria Premier League sides along with non-league Samba FC of Enugu are grouped in Group A based in Bauchi.
Cup holders Heartland are also in a relatively tough group that also has Gombe United, newly promoted Nasarawa United and Plateau United, who now feature in the Nigeria National League (NNL). They will be based in Port Harcourt.
Group B in Lagos has Kwara United, Kano Pillars, El Kanemi Warriors and Crown FC, while Group C, who will play their matches in Lokoja are Enugu Rangers, Sharks, Prime FC and surprise team Dynamite Force.
There have already been some major upsets in the competition as Sunshine Stars, Shooting Stars, Dolphin, Niger Tornadoes and Akwa United have all exited.
The group phase of the country’s cup competition will be played between July 16 and 20 with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the quarterfinals, which will be played on knockout basis.
The cup final will be played in Lagos with the winners earning the ticket to represent Nigeria in next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.