7 players from S/South make final list for Global Grassroots Football Tournament

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By Emmanuel Afonne

Seven players have been selected from the South-South zone for final of the Global Grassroots Football Tournament (GGFT) scheduled to take place at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, next month.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament is organised by an Abuja-based football academy, Prestige Football Academy (PFA).

Uchendu Nwabara, President and National Coordinator, GGFT, told NAN over the telephone on Saturday that the seven players would proceed to Abuja for the final selection scheduled to hold from May 23 to May 26.

Nwabara said the tournament which started in the six geo-political zones of the country on April 17 with South-South taking the first shot, would end in North-East on May 5 before the final in Abuja.

He said the tournament organised for players between 16 and 19 years would be used for scouting of players for the national teams and various foreign clubs.

“We are done with the South-South zone with a base in Port Harcourt; we are heading to the South-West zone with Lagos as the base.

“We have been in Port Harcourt since Monday but ended our programme there on Thursday and arrived Lagos on Friday.

“This tournament is the maiden edition and we have our target, which is to help revive football in Nigeria through scouting of super quality players.

“So many of them have been doing well irrespective of our different layers of scouting; every player has to be physically fit and must know everything that concerns football on the pitch.

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“Also, the player’s medical history is part of the criteria and not just that, we also make sure that the player’s cognitive development and attention span is accessed as well as his character and discipline.

“Some of the players we have seen are very good and ready for the tournament,” Nwabara said.

Obafemi Olugbemi, Coordinator, South-South zone, Global Grassroots Football Tournament, also told NAN over the phone that exceptional players were selected out of the over 200 that participated.

Olugbemi said that the tournament would henceforth serve as nurturing ground for football talents for the country’s national teams.

Edwin Yobo, the Co-coordinator of South-South, urged those who were not selected to up their game and prepare for the second edition next year.

Edwin, who is the elder brother of former Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, said the screening would now become part of the youth population in the area especially the footballers among them.

Ernest Osuagbenironiso, one of the lucky players selected for the grand finale in Abuja, said the training was awesome but intense.

“We have a large turnout but I thank God I am part of the players selected.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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