Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, believes the revived National Principals Cup will boost the country’s football development.
The developmental competition, which began in Lagos on Friday with Igbobi College battling with Government College Kaduna to a 1-1 draw in the ceremonial kick-off, involves all secondary schools in the country.
Speaking at the ceremonial kick-off of the competition at the Agege Stadium, Lagos, Dare said, “I am so elated that a competition like this which engages our youths and prepares them for the future is back.
“When you look at the likes of Segun Odegbami, Felix Owolabi, Daniel Amokachi, Adokie Amiesiamaka, Stephen Keshi, Dosu Joseph, Henry Nwosu, Victor Ikpeba and a whole lot of others, who took part in this event, one will realize the magnitude of this big revival.
“I want to assure everyone that this competition will outlive all of us and will not go down again. It will be a brand with sponsors in place so that it will be sustained in many years to come.
“It is important to use this event to boost the age-grade national teams and to give the young ones a chance to attain their full potential.”
Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shuaibu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajuba, the first and second Vice Presidents of the Nigeria Football Federation – Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko – were at the event.
Dare disclosed that the National Principals Cup state preliminaries will start immediately nationwide.
He also enjoined the participants of the competition to combine education effectively with sports.
“Today, Aimiesiamaka is a Justice, Odegbami an engineer, Owolabi, a PHD holder and a whole lot of others occupy important positions in the country. Football did not affect their education,” Dare added.