Rivers United has pulled out of the Dapo Abiodun Pre-season tournament to enable them prepare for their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary game against Futuro Kings.
The Port Harcourt-based club participated at the just concluded Wike Cup in Rivers State and were already through to the semi-final of the ongoing Dapo Abiodun tournament, but due to continental engagement later this week, the club told the organisers of the event their intent to pull out of the tournament.
Rivers United defeated MFM FC on Sunday to set up a semi-final date with Shooting Stars but the game was not played as Shooting Stars reached the final without kicking the ball.
Rivers United are expected to travel to Equatorial Guinea this week to play the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup against Futuro Kings on November 28.
The club General manager Chief Okey Kpalukwu explained their decision to disengage from the pre-season tournament via a message which reads as follow;
“We want to apologize to the organizers of this tournament our decision to disengage from the tournament was a difficult one.
“We have to travel back to Port-Harcourt and conduct the COVID-19 test for our players and officials.
“We have to perfect our traveling plans and make arrangements for all necessary documentation.
“We appreciate the Organizers for their amazing support for our team final phase of preparation, we got a good grass pitch to train in Ijebu-Ode and the competition from other teams in the tournament has helped our coaches to perfect the team ahead of our continental games.
“We are grateful for the opportunity and we will participate in the future tournament.”
Coordinator of the Dapo Abiodun Cup, Oye Bawala in a statement accepted Rivers United decision to disengage from the tournament.
“We appreciate Rivers United for honouring our invitation, they added glamour to the tournament and we commend their sportsmanship behavior all through the tournament.
“We have accepted their decision, our objective with the tournament is to create a good platform for the clubs to perfect their preparation ahead of the new season and we are glad Rivers United have benefited hugely.
“We wish the team success in the CAF Confederation Cup, we are hopeful they will make Nigerians proud and give their best against Futuro Kings this weekend,” Bawala concluded.