Group Stage Round-Up: Inter-Hall Freshers’ Cup

The Inter-Hall Freshers’ Cup is one of the activities of the Freshers’ Week ‘24 organized by the Student Union. It is also one of the most anticipated football competitions usually played early into an academic session. Teams from each hall of residence compete in a series of football matches to earn bragging rights as the best freshers’ team in the University of Ibadan. This year, just like previous editions, the organizers added a female category to the competition, to encourage female participation in sports.

The male teams are divided into two groups of 3 teams each. Group A consists of the Lord Tedder Hall, Kenneth Mellanby Hall, and Nnamdi Azikiwe Hall, while group B had the Great Independence Hall, Sultan Bello Hall, and Reverend Oludotun Ransome Kuti hall. The games are being played at the Old Football Pitch (otherwise known as the SUB Pitch) and each match has two halves of 25 minutes per half. For the females, the three female halls, the Queen Elizabeth II Hall, the Queen Idia Hall, and the Obafemi Awolowo Hall competed in a round-robin (all-play-all league) format in which each team faced every other team in turns. The matches were played at the SUB small pitch using a five-a-side format and each match had two halves of 15 minutes per half.


The opening match which was to start at 3:30 pm kicked off at 4:05pm on Wednesday July 3rd, with the defending champions, Tedder Hall, facing Mellanby Hall. The Tedderites started the game deficient of one player but the last player eventually made it to the field. The first half ended goalless. In the second half, Tedder Hall took the lead in the 42nd minute courtesy of a goal scored by Shaoge Abdusalam of the Department of Civil Engineering. 8 minutes later, Mellanby Hall equalized, courtesy of a goal scored by Emmanuel alias ‘Mbappe’ of the Department of Statistics. The poor state of the field due to the heavy downpour earlier in the day affected the match. The conduct of the coaches was also noteworthy as Tedder’s coach received a yellow card. The match ended as a draw with one goal from both sides at 5:11 pm.

Tedder Hall Boys

The second match between Independence Hall and Kuti Hall of Group B started at 5:28 pm. Just like the opening match, the first half ended goalless. The only goal of the match came in the 44th minute with Abolaji from the Department of Agricultural Engineering, giving Kuti Hall all three points. The match ended at 6:21 pm. In the female match, Queen Elizabeth II Hall defeated Obafemi Awolowo Hall by 3 goals to nil. Feyisayo from the Department of Physiotherapy scored a hattrick of goals to give Queen Elizabeth II all three points.


The match between Sultan Bello Hall and Ransome Kuti Hall which was initially planned to be played on Friday, 5th July by 5:00 pm was shifted to Thursday, 4th July. According to information obtained from the SU Sports Secretary, the match was shifted because the coaches agreed to, due to the Freshers’ Orientation in Kuti Hall scheduled to be held on the same day the match was initially fixed. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The Zikites faced the Tedderites on Friday, 5th July, to commence Match Day 2. The match earlier slated to start by 4:00 pm started at 4:33 pm. The match had to be paused because Emmanuel, a player from Zik Hall, sustained a cut on his face. Remarkably, Zik made their first substitution just 5 minutes before the end of the first half. Another one came 4 minutes after the start of the second half. In the same minute, Zik had a goal disallowed for a foul in the build-up. Tedder made two substitutions in the 42nd minute. Shortly after, Kiwi of the Department of Microbiology gave Zik the lead. Tedder made two more substitutions. Zik’s goal scorer, Kiwi, was also substituted 6 minutes before the end of normal time. At the last few minutes of the game, Zik conceded a penalty kick which was converted by Segun Prestige of Medicine and Surgery in the 59th minute. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

In the female games, the match between Queen Idia Hall and Obafemi Awolowo Hall ended in a 2-2 draw.

Queen Idia vs Awolowo


The Independence Hall faced Sultan Bello in the first match of Matchday 3 on Sunday, 7th July. Maintaining the tournament’s streak of late kick-offs, the match which was supposed to start by 4:00 pm started at 4:26 pm. Independence Hall dominated the first half and came close to scoring on several occasions but for the brilliance of Bello’s goalkeeper and a woodwork. They were finally rewarded for their efforts in the 14th minute of the game when Daniel put the ball in the back of the net after a deflection from a corner kick. Independence Hall came close to scoring again 3 minutes later but for a last-ditch effort from Bello’s goalkeeper. Interestingly, Bello made their first substitution in the next minute, with Emmanuel coming off for Idris. In the 3rd minute of added time, Independence Hall hit the woodwork again. The first half ended two minutes later at 4:54 pm.

The second half started at 5:04 pm. This time, the Bellites were more focused and the game was evenly matched. In the 24th minute of the second half, the Katangites made a vital block to keep the scoreline in their favour. The game was paused because of an argument that started because fans who were intruding into the pitch refused to return to the stands. Surprisingly, the second half had been played for 34 minutes before the referee signaled an addition of 3 extra minutes. At this point, Independence Hall’s coach started complaining about the amount of time that was added. This was followed by a series of injuries sustained by Independence Hall players. The referee saw this as an attempt to waste time and showed Ibrahim a yellow card for time-wasting. Additional time was extended to 7 minutes and eventually, Waliu of Physiotherapy scored for Bello after a defensive mistake from Indy at the last minute. Fans entered the pitch in jubilation while the match had not been concluded.

Independence vs Bello

There were disagreements concerning the refereeing of the match. First, one of the linesmen was a Katangite. This raised clamour amongst the fans of Sultan Bello Hall. Also, Independence Hall’s coach argued that no amount of time wasting would have warranted the addition of 16 minutes to a second half that was meant to last for 25 minutes. We later found out that the center referee had no wristwatch and was depending on the time given to him by one of the linesmen (the non-Katangite).

The second match between the Zikites and the Mellanbites started at 5:57 pm. 17 minutes after kick-off, the Mellanbites almost scored from a long-range freekick. 5 minutes later, the Zikites had to make two goal-line blocks in quick succession to keep the scoreline neutral. However, the second block appeared to come off the hand of a defender from Zik Hall. This raised clamour from the Mellanbites who questioned the integrity of the competition as the center referee was a Zikite. Again, the center referee had no wristwatch. More controversial decisions followed leading to claims that the referee was obviously in favour of the Zikites. However, subsequent decisions seemed neutral.

Mellanby drew first blood in the 23rd minute of the match courtesy of a goal by Ola. The Zikites failed to clear their lines after another long-range freekick. In the same minute, the Zikites replied furiously to draw level through a perfectly curated build-up after kick-off finished by Lekan from the department of Mathematics. The first half finished at 6:24 pm and the second half began at 6:31 pm. 18 minutes into the second half, Mellanby wasted a golden chance to take the lead. For the first time, the Zik defence slept and all that was missing was the perfect placement for the goal but the striker shot the ball off target. Both teams continued to find opportunities to score but neither of them would relax. The game finished at 6:56 pm after 3 minutes of added time.

Azikiwe vs Mellanby

The match between the Queens and the Idia ended in a goalless draw. Idia girls had the opportunity to take the lead in the first half from the penalty spot but missed their chance.

With this, the Katangites who were semifinalists last year are out of the competition while Kuti, with 4 points in the group stage, and Bello proceed to the knockout stages. All teams in group B have 2 points each, the same number of Goal Difference, and the same number of goals scored. According to FIFA rules, the number of cards received (fairplay) is considered. Mellanby received 2 yellow cards, Zik received 1 while Tedder received 5. Therefore, Tedder failed to make it to the knockout stages and are eliminated. Some sports enthusiasts considered the fairplay decision controversial because Mellanby allegedly received a red card, but the committee in charge released a statement explaining the intricacies. They clarified that the cards considered during fairplay are the ones only showed to the players and technical staff, not other people (fans inclusive) off the pitch.

Queen Elizabeth II Hall won the cup as they finished on top of the table with 4 points, Queen Idia Hall followed with 2 points while Obafemi Awolowo Hall, at the bottom of the table, with 1 point. Cups and medals will be presented on Thursday, 11th of July, after the finals for the male category.

Emmanuel Ibitunde.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *