August 1, 2018 is a date to mark on your calendar as a battle between Unilag and Uniben is expected to draw attention of all and sundry.

Students of both universities will be expecting their school to emerge unscathed and come out in flying colours. But time will tell.

The battle is a fixture in the maiden Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) scheduled to hold between July and November.

The league will commence with 16 universities, zoned into the Coastal Conference (South) and the Sahel Conference (North) for reasons of proximity and effective administration.

At the draws held in Lagos, eight universities from each conference were further categorised into two groups.

School teams were picked randomly from four transparent bowls which represented the four groups namely; Sahel A, Sahel B, Coastal A and Coastal B.

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Ex-international football players and sponsors who managed the process of the draws ensured that the placement of schools was done in line with global standards.

After the draws, the official fixtures for the HiFL 2018 season were revealed.

Some of the exciting matches to anticipate include: the battle of the coasts, Unilag Marines vs Uniben Royals and the titanic battle of the north between BUK stallions and Udusok Sultans.

Speaking after the draws, President of the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA), Prof. Stephen Hamafyelto said “Football lovers across the country can look forward to a very interesting competition. The successful draws will not only put to rest the question of who plays who, but also set the tone for everyone to be geared up for the exciting days ahead.

“The managers, players and even the organizers are now better placed to align themselves with the HiFL’s brilliant execution format.

“We are confident that the HiFL will complement the efforts of NUGA to bring back the good old days of competitive inter-school games with all the excitement therein,” Hamafyelto added.

HiFL is approved by the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) and endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The league is overseen by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC).

The winner of HIFL will represent Nigeria at the 2019 International University Sports Federation games in Naples, Italy.

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