By Sulaiman Alao:
Channels Television have raised the stakes of their annual Kids Cup competition to international standards with teams from Ghana and Benin Republic joining 14 other teams picked from the six geographical zones in Nigeria to compete in the ninth edition of the U-13 football tournament.
Speaking at the draw ceremony conducted at the Teslimi Balogun Stadium, chairman of the organizing committee, Steve Judo, said the competition is aimed to help develop school kids with football talent.
“This competition is the brainchild of Channels TV chairman, John Momoh. It is aimed to help develop football talents of kids in elementary schools," Judo said.
“It is the first time this competition is going international, yet it is not a do or die affair. I admonish you all to play for the love of the game and enjoy yourself while you use the opportunity to mix, bond together and make friends among yourselves.”
The 16 teams were drawn in four groups as follows:
Group A: Lagos 1 – Xplanter Primary School, Ikorodu; Osun State – Islamic Government School, Modakeke; Lagos 2 – Community Primary School, Abule Egba and Edo State – Paragon Demonstration School, Benin City.
Group B: Kaduna State – LGEA Jaafaru Primary School; Rivers State – World Book Capital City Model Primary School; Kwara State – Burhanudeen LGEA Primary School, Ojagboro and Abia State – City Primary School Umuahia.
Group C: Ghana – Abeka 4 Basic School, New Fadama Accra; Ogun State – African Church Primary School, Onibuku, Ado Odo Ota; Kogi State – Islamiya LGEA School Kabawa, Lokoja and Sokoto State – Turaki Model Primary School.
Group D: Benin Republic – Saint Louis de Seme Krake; Ekiti State – St Augustine’s Catholic Nursery & Primary School; Niger State – Waziri Primary School, Minna and Imo State – Community School, Ezima Obaire.
The competition partnered by Indomie Noodles, TY Danjuma Foundation and some state governments in Nigeria kicked of on Monday, while the final is billed to hold on Children’s Day, May 27.