As the much anticipated Nigeria Olympic Committee organised (NOC) 2018 Olympafrica Futbonet berths in Lagos, over 100 students from schools and football clubs marked the opening ceremony at the Olympafrica ground, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Olympics Committee (IOC) initiated competition is meant for the less privileged students, giving them a feel of sports.
The event which is expected to hold between April 26 and May 6, has in attendance the Project Coordinator Abdulmalik Ibrahim, who said he was impressed with the turnout of the children.
He said that the annual Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) sponsored event had given life to many less-privileged children in the society, adding that it gives hope to those who never dreamt of travelling out.
“This is a competition with a rare opportunity for the less-privileged to have an opportunity to express themselves through sports.
“The turnout today is impressive being the first day, others will still come when it is their turn to play. It is a wonderful opportunity because the competition is not all about winning.
“The competition seeks to imbue in them the spirit of brotherliness and fairness, lessons we hold in high esteem during competition. What we want is discipline and fair play.
“This competition is not about who wins and not winning at all cost; it may interest people to know that the team with the highest goals may not b the eventual winners,’’ he said.
Abdulmalik said that the competition for school children between the ages of 13 and 15 would seek to foster unity among them.
He added that the winners and the runners-up from Lagos and Port Harcourt zones would represent Nigeria at the international Olympafrica Futbonet scheduled for Togo this year.
The participants who spoke to NAN expressed their happiness with the competition.
Adegoke Sulaiman said that he was happy to be among those selected to play in the competition, adding that the selection process was fair enough.
“I am happy to be here, I think we are just picked randomly and I was surprised when my name was called,’’ he said.
Olatunji Jokotola said the competition was new to him because of his knowledge of the normal football rules which were not fully practiced during the matches.
“At first, I did not understand what the competition is all about, but as we played on, I got to know that there are some expectations from us outside the normal football activities.
“These are what they want us to understand more than just playing the ball, I think it is good enough,’’ he said.