The Ist Vice-President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Seyi Akinwunmi, on Monday said that his foundation, Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation, was purely for grassroots development of football and not a talent hunt.
Akinwunmi told a news conference to herald the competition that four students who would excel during the tournament slated for Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, would have a scholarships to support their education.
The 2018 Seyi Akinwunmi U-13 tournament is organised to help children who are exceptional during the tournament with scholarships.
The participating teams are the last four finalists during the Channels International Kids Cup held this year at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The schools are the winners LGEA Central School, Kaiama, Kwara State, Emmanuel Anglican Nursery and Primary School, Oke Isa, Ado Ekiti, Baptist Government Primary School, Osogbo, Osun, and X-Planter Nursery and Primary School, Ikorodu Lagos State.
Others that will join them are Abogo Larema Military School Biu, Borno State and Eko Football Future Stars, Lagos State.
Akinwunmi said that though he appreciated those that would come for the discovery of talents during the two-day competition; he said that the vision of the tournament was more than that.
“We really appreciate those that will come to scout for the players, but the tournament is more than that, it is not a talent hunt but to support the indigent students in their education.
“In the next five years, this competition would have grown more than me because it is not about me; it is about support for the children.
“I love to see the stars discovered at the grassroots, that is where the raw talents are and we will see through their development because we won’t leave them alone.
“The support we are giving them will be in terms of sponsoring their education in schools and four of them will be beneficiary to the scholarship programme,’’ he said.
Akinwunmi announced that various educational materials would be given out during the tournament to support the students, adding that the school from Borno was invited as a fair play rule.
“The competition will also have some educational materials distributed, so we are calling on more sponsors to support the programme because we will also provide free meal for the students.
“The school from Borno, Abogo Larema was invited as fair play rule because they stole the show during the last Channels International Kids Cup.
“They are kids from the state ravaged by insurgents and they were happy to come to Lagos State giving a good account of themselves in spite of their predicament.
“I hope that the tournament gets better and soon, we will have a project director and by the grace of God, next year, we will include the girls’ category in the competition,’’ he said.