By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has said that the ministry decided to support the re~introduction of Principal Cup Football Competition among secondary schools in the country in order to develop grassroots football, discover hidden talents as well as encourage healthy rivalry among students.
He stated this Friday at the Agege Stadium, Lagos during the official kick off of the tournament between Igbobi College Lagos and Government College, Kaduna.
According to the Sports Minister who was accompanied by the Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, the tournament in the past produced great footballers who later won laurels for the country at the global level; promising that it would be sustained.
“As you’re aware Principal Cup in the past produced talented footballers for the country who later made us proud in the world and it was the dream of every student to be part of the fun. Great Nigerian players such as late Stephen Keshi, Henry Nwosu, Daniel Amokachi, Tarila Okoronwata, Tajudeen Disu to mention just a few are all products of this great tournament and kudos must go to those who came out with the idea of reviving it”, he explained.
In his remarks, Director of Grassroots Sports Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Dr. Ademola Are stated that the ministry is poised to organising a successful tournament.
He said that the tournament will start with the state finals to be followed by the zonal finals after which the best two teams from each of the six geopolitical zones, making a total of 12 teams will later converge on Abuja for the finals.
Also speaking, a member of the organising committee of the tournament and President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club Dr. Rafiu Oladipo commended the Sports Ministry for embracing the idea; saying that the country need more of such grassroots programmes to move her sports forward.
Meanwhile, in the match to herald the championship, Igbobi College Lagos had to wait for a last minute penalty to cancel the goal of their opponents, Government College, Kano and end the game 1~1 to the delight of fans, sports administrators and many ex~internations who were on ground to witness the game just as Jibrin Usman of Government College, Kano won the Most Valuable Player award.