Elites of Nigeria football join Waidi Akanni to lunch 1xBET Cup
The elite of Nigeria football on Monday came out in large numbers to support one of them Waidi Akanni who launched a grassroots football championship called 1xBet Cup.
Among the former football star that graced the occasion are Friday Ekpo, Henry Nwosu, Taiwo Eneawa, Austin Eguavoen, Austin Popo, Friday Elahor, Daniel Amokachi, Taiwo Oloyede, Wasiu Ipaye, ex-Golden Eaglets coach, Fanny Amun, Franklin Howard, Jide Oguntuashe, Victor Agali, and Loveday Omoruyi.
40 teams, drawn from the 37 Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State, would be divided into five conferences in the new tournament
Amokachi and Eguavoen applauded the new initiative in grassroots football in Lagos.
The duo who have been appointed as ambassadors for the new 1xBET Cup said they are eager to see the superstars that would emerge from this new tournament.
Eguavoen who is the Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation urged participants to make the best of the opportunity as it could serve as a springboard to international stardom.
“We didn’t have these many opportunities during our time; this platform is a great platform to start growing from. 1xBET and Waidi Akanni have sown a seed that will manifest in the near future.
“No doubt, there are talents in this country, but we need to put in structures to groom the talents discovered. Football remains a unifying tool in Nigeria; we should utilise it to save our country,” he said.
Amokachi, one of the country’s Youth Ambassadors, said developing football at the grassroots level remained the only sustainable way to guarantee continuous development of the game.
“It is an honour to be a part of this, watching football in its rawest form will be truly entertaining, and being able to discover new talents will be something to look forward to.
“Football unites us. Growing up as a child football was an escape root for us. I applaud Wahidi and 1xBET,” he said.
Oluwafemi Babalola, chairman of 1xBET Sports Betting Company, said in Lagos, that 40 football teams had been invited to compete for a trophy in the maiden edition of the community-based tournament.
He said the 40 teams, drawn from the 37 Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State, would be divided into five conferences.
He added that Amokachi and Eguavoen were appointed as ambassadors to motivate the young talents that would be discovered during the tournament.
“These young players will be given a platform to showcase their talents and have the opportunity to be under the tutelage of outstanding ex-internationals.
“We’re glad to be throwing our weight behind this laudable project, I’d like to thank Akanni for this brilliant initiative,” he said.
The new 1xBet Cup which will last for six weeks, is scheduled to kick off on 3 October across the Local Council Development Areas.
Akanni, the chairman of Match International, said grassroots development remained the only sustainable way to discover and groom future champions.
“We started this partnership four months ago, and we’re glad to be here today. We believe in the talents, and hidden gems in our country. But how do we nurture them if we don’t discover them?
“The only way we can identify these talents is by organising tournaments like this with ex-internationals as our ambassadors to train and motivate these talents.
“That’s why you see the chairman of Nigeria National League (NNL) here, we want a synergy whereby these players move to the next level from grassroots to the senior team,” he said.
Apart from the trophy at stake, the winning team will also go home with N1 million, while the first runner-up gets N500,000 and the second runner-up will pocket N300,000.
Meanwhile, 40 ex-internationals in the various Local Council Development Areas have also been pencilled down to train and mentor the participating teams