Neymar Endorses Nigeria’s Babates 5-Aside Football Tourney

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By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos 

Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team Captain, Neymar da Silva Júnior, has sent a solidarity message to his friend in Nigeria, Teslim Usman, a member of national 5-aside team who had participated in Neymar’s Redbull 5-Aside Tournament in Brazil in 2019 to endorse the Babates 5-Aside Tournament slated for Ibadan.

Neymar in a voice-note message sent over the weekend on the social media handle of Teslim Usman urged his friend to do everything to make the game of 5-aside soccer popular in Nigeria describing 5-aside as a powerhouse of football cohesion.

He however promised to attend the subsequent edition of the tournament if it’s not clash with his official football schedules.

The football event tagged Babates 5-Aside which will be held in collaboration with Oyo State ministry of Youths and Sports according to Chairman/Founder Babates Empire, Teslim Usman, who is the only Nigerian to have represented the country in two major international 5-Aside tournaments has picked May 15 to June 13 for the event.         

64 teams are expected to participate in the tournament slated for the football pitch of Oke-Ibadan Boys High School and it is open to any 5-Aside team anywhere in the country according to the Coordinator, Ayo Fadele who said registration of teams will close in a week’s time.

While explaining the rationale behind the soccer tournament, Teslim said: “We’re yet to fully embrace 5aside football in Nigeria, we only play the conventional 11-aside and as a pioneer member of the national 5-aside team and only Nigerian to have represented the country in two major international 5-aside competitions, the think we should give back the society that produced us”. 

He added that “I think I should make an effort to create awareness for 5-aside in Oyo State and Nigeria as whole where I come from and give something back to the community that produced us and discover more talent in 5-aside game, as we have that talent but not exploiting the potential”.

Photo captions: Neymar and his Nigerian friend Teslim Usman during Neymar Redbull 5-Aside Tournament in Brazil in 2019.       

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