Birnin Kebbi – A total of 19 football teams have registered for the 2017 Under-20 Chief of Army Staff Peace Cup National Football Tournament in Kebbi State, an official said on Tuesday.
Ahmed Lawal, President of African Youth Sports Federation (AYSOF), told newsmen in Birnin Kebbi that talented footballers selected during the tournament would be absorbed into the national teams.
He said the screening of players had commenced on Monday and the competition would end on Nov. 25 at the Haluru Abdu mini-stadium in the metropolis.
He said the teams which qualify for the final of the competition would participate in an under-20 football competition in Brazil in March of 2018.
“The Chief of Army Staff believes that peace can be achieved through sports hence, and this is why our Federation (AYSOF) decided to organise this
tournament for peace and unity.
“The federation will use the competition to assist in identifying football talents.
“Also, the federation will encourage the young players to achieve their ambitions and place them in the limelight.
“We will disabuse their minds from getting involved in seeking solution in all social vices and take them
from unemployment to meaningful employment as professional players,’’ Lawal said.
Paul Odey, the chairman of the competition’s Technical Committee, while commenting also assured that AYSOF would ensure the best players were selected from the event.
“The federation will do this as its contribution to the replacement of ageing players in the national teams.’’
He disclosed that the next competition by AYSOF would be sponsored by the Lagos State Government, with former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Peter Rufai expected to assist in the selection of goalkeepers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that teams which will participate in the competition are expected from Kano, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Kaduna States.
Teams from Zamfara, Niger, Kebbi,Plateau,Jigawa, Adamawa, Borno,Yobe, Benue,Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) are also expected at the event.