The Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has heaped plaudits on clubs in the southwestern part of the country for organising and featuring in a pre-season competition.
The eight-team tournament is bankrolled by the Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko.
Premier League chairman, Davidson Owumi, said: “It is a good innovation from them because the Nigeria Premier League cannot organise every pre-season tournament. In Europe and other parts of the world, we have seen clubs organise pre-season competitions and I must say that this is a good step in the right direction.
“The competition apart from allowing the fans see their players before the new season, I believe it will also allow the supporters of the club accept that hooliganism is not part of the game since it is a competition based on friendly grounds.”
Owumi also lauded the Ondo State government for sponsoring the tournament.
Eight clubs from the southwest including three Premier League sides are competing at stadia in Abeokuta and Ijebu-Ode.
The clubs are Sunshine Stars of Akure, Crown Football Club of Ogbomosho, Gateway Football Club of Abeokuta and Julius Berger of Lagos. They are competing at the Ijebu-Ode centre.
Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan, Prime Football Club of Osogbo, Rising Stars of Akure and FC Ebedei are at the Abeokuta centre.
The competition began on Wednesday with organisers saying that the final will hold in Akure.