TPL 2: Round Up
The much anticipated second edition of The Twitter Premier League (TPL) held this Saturday 6th September 2014 at the Campos Mini Stadium, Lagos Island, Lagos.
The Twitter Premier League (TPL) is a one day football tournament, that seeks to tap into the football loving passion that Nigerians show on social media. The aim is to identify the fans who can back up their online football passion with talent with the official slogan being “Don’t just Tweet Football, Play football”.
The inaugural TPL edition had held on the 29th of May (Democracy day) at Meadow Hall, Ikate Lekki, during which the Red Devils emerged inaugural champions in a 4-3 penalty shootout against the Blues in the finals. The four teams (The Guns, The Rebels, the Blues and The Red Devils) having learnt from their initial mistakes, retooled their teams with feverish player transfers, practice/training sessions and trash talking on Twitter to match.
The round robin group games ended with the Red Devils and the Rebels topping the group stages and qualifying for a showdown in the final. The Red Devils emerged victorious and successfully defended their title by converting all their spot kicks to overcome the Rebels in a 4-1 penalty shootout.
This second edition of the TPL saw the welcome development of sponsors partnering with individual TPL teams as well as the tournament in general, with Prodeus partnering with the Guns, Euclase partnering with the Rebels and Stakersden partnering with the Red Devils. The main partners for the TPL tourney included Prodeus, ELTV, 360Nobs Entertainment and EPL Naija.
The ladies were not left out as the Tsarinas took on the Panthers in a one-off all stars match, carrying on the rivalry from the first TPL tourney in Lekki. Both teams displayed relentless attacking football and tight, deft passes in the midfield to the delight of the crowd. At the end the Tsarinas maintained their dominance over the Panthers with a 3-1 win. Isi scored two goals for the Tsarinas as in the inaugural edition as she clinched the coveted female MVP award for a second time (with a 50,000 naira individual cash prize by Stakersden).
Anticipation is already building on Twitter for the next edition of the TPL slated to hold in December, as the teams stung by defeat from better prepared opponents begin to plot competitive revenge. With the interest generated by the large turnout at this event as well as the infusion of sponsorship deals, it is only clear that the TPL can go bigger from here on out.
Photos of the event can be found here.