President of Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick led other executive members of the federation as well as other top shots in Nigerian football to Ihima, Okehi LGA of Kogi State on Sunday to grace a soccer talent hunt organized by the Natasha Akpoti Foundation (NAF), to promote grassroot soccer talents in Kogi State.
The final of the talent hunt program organized in conjunction with the Soccer for Peace Foundation and Webster Group was held at the Ihima Township Stadium.
The unprecedented youth emancipation program was the first project of Amaju Pinnick since his re-election as president of the NFF.
The NFF supremo was glad to used the moments to relieve his long time desire to give Soccer opportunities to children at the grassroots.
He also appreciated the good people of the North Central Part of Nigeria for their massive support during his re-election and promised a greater attention towards the region.
“This event gives me relief to achieve one of my cardinal objectives of bringing soccer opportunities to the downtrodden
“North Central is key to development of football in Nigeria and I want to appreciate every stakeholders for their continued support to our reelection success, this we will reciprocate with focusing more in developing football from this area”, Amaju said.
Accompanying the president of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Pinnick to the venue were NFF Executive Members, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali who is also the chairman of Nationwide League One, NLO and Nasarawa State FA; Kogi FA chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Isah Umar, his counterparts from FCT, Alhaji Musa Talle, and Plateau State, Mr Sunday Longdap, Chairman of Kogi State Referees Council, Adams Ibraheem, FIFA Referee Abel Baba, Soccer geniuses like Daniel Amokachi who is the Technical Director of the JS Hercules team in Finland.
The event commenced last week with the screening of the 45 players from the three senatorial districts of Kogi state at the Kogi State Polytechnic field, Lokoja.
30 players were selected at the end of the screening with 10 players each from Kogi Central, East, and West district.
The 30 players were divided into 2 teams of 15 players each, making Team Natasha Akpoti and Team Amaju Pinnick.
The final stage of the Soccer talent Hunt saw Team Amaju Pinnick beating Natasha Akpoti 5-2 and smile home with a prize of one million naira and the runner up with five hundred thousand naira donated by Webster group.
The NFF President equally donated one million naira each to the two teams for their impressive performances just as he reiterated his federation’s commitment in discovering future football stars in Nigeria.
Barrister Natasha Akpoti who was the chief host of the event attributed the initiative as a project to market the very best of not only Ebira but Kogi State’s soccer talent to the nation and world.
Barrister Akpoti, a Senatorial Candidate for Kogi Central District added that she decided to open this opportunity for the youths of the entire state.
“Football is a sport that brings unity amongst people and development to neglected communities, it would be only good to accord equal prosperous chances to our families from the East and West.
This is the first time in the history of Kogi State that a seating president, his board and NFF chairmen of 6 states are visiting, so sharing these opportunities of joy is the most humane thing I can do as a nation builder”, Akpoti said.
Daniel Amokachi who is an Ex Super Eagles’ player gave hundred thousand naira to the best player Mr. Salihu Hamid who scored three goals during the march.
In their separate remarks, NFF board members and the FA Chairmen present promised to look into other career growth advantages in the coming weeks as such raw talents must be supported.