By Olayinka Owolewa
Ilorin – The first edition of the Tertiary Institutions Football Competition sponsored by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) will hold between July 23 and July 30 in Ilorin.
The Kwara Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Kale Ayo, told newsmen in Ilorin on Tuesday that the examination body had approved N25 million to sponsor the competition.
Ayo who is the Chairman, Main Organising Committee (MOC) said the participants would be drawn from those who excel in NUGA, NIPOGA, COEGA and innovative entrepreneur institutions tournaments.
He commended the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, for allowing the body to collaborate with the Kwara State Government to sponsor an annual JAMB National Tertiary Institutions Football Championship.
Ayo however appealed to wealthy individuals and corporate organisations to emulate JAMB and sponsor competitions in other sports such as athletics, judo, squash, badminton, cycling and swimming.
“This should be part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology in Kwara, Dr Aminah Ahmed, said sports should continue with its role of a unifying factor in the society.
She encouraged Nigerians, particularly students of higher institutions in the state, to always engage in sports activities for physical and mental fitness.
The state’s Director of Sports, Tunde Kazeem, disclosed that three venues would be used in Ilorin for the competition while 400 players and officials were expected at the seven-day event.
He listed qualifiers for the tournament as the semi-finalists from the NUGA, NIPOGA and NICEGA football events, two institutions from hosts Kwara and other two from innovative entrepreneur institutions.
`This makes it a competition for teams from 16 higher institutions,’’ Kazeem said.
The Director of Sports said the top three winners would go home with certificates and medals, while assuring that adequate security and medical care would be provided during the competition.
He added that draws for the competition would be done a month before the event in Ilorin.
In his contribution, Secretary of the MOC and General Manager of Radio Kwara, Abdullateef Adedeji, promised that the Committee would organise a befitting competition which stakeholders would be proud of.