By: Alfred Saiki,
History would be made in Plateau State tomorrow, as the administration of Governor Simon Bako Lalong and Plateau United Football Club would for the first time in the history of sports, play host and also play in the prestigious Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League.The “Lalong Boys”, as they are popularly called, would be playing “Eding Sport Football Club of Cameroon”, who are also Champions of the Cameroonian League, at the New Jos Stadium on Zaria Road in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
You would recall that Plateau United FC, last year were crowned League Champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for the first time in the club’s history and during Governor Simon Lalong’s administration, after beating Rangers International Football Club on the last day of the League.
Playing in the CAF Champions’ League is a new terrain for the Coach Kennedy Boboye tutored side.
With the way Plateau United surprised most football pundits by going all the way to win the League last season, when in the previous season they battled relegation for most of the season before ending in the 8th position, pundits would not want to bet against them giving a good representation in this year’s CAF Champions League.
While some pundits argue that Plateau United do not have Continental experience like Enyimba of Aba and Kano Pillars FC of Kano, expectations are limited from the team.
Others are also of the belief that the way they surprised most pundits by winning the NPFL last season, they could go a long way in the CAF Champions’ League.
Some pundits have also identified the role Governor Simon Bako Lalong played in the team last year, when the team won the NPFL. The Governor, according to them, did not hold back in support for the team, as the team never lacked, in terms of finances and payment of both the playing staff and the coaches. Pundits expect the support from the Governor and the whole of Plateau State to help propel the team in the CAF Champions’ League.
“If all state owned teams are supported like the way Plateau United FC is being supported by the Governor, Simon Lalong, our football clubs would be better off in the country”. Pundits have stated, as all roads lead tomorrow to the New Jos Zaria Road Stadium.
One of the country’s flag bearers in the CAF competition would be expected to have a comfortable win, so that the return match in Cameroon would be a mere formality.