Independent Cup Aims To Produce Another Silas Nwankwo

Independent cup
Independent cup

Ayobo-Ipaja LCDA of Alimosho Local Government Council in Lagos State was perky last Friday, Nigeria’s Independence Day, as Independent Cup second edition was held in the community.

The impressive grassroots tournament saw Ajo All-Stars slug it out with Orphiel FC in the final at Fela field, Ipaja.

The game ended nil-nil after regulations, with spectators treated to fascinating football.

Although Orphiel FC prevailed 5–3 in the shoot-out to emerge the winners of the 2021 Independent Cup, Ajo All-Stars FC was praised for the fight they put up.

It would be recalled that Silas Nwankwo, who just last month was named the Best Player in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), was discovered at the Independent Cup.

Nwankwo was brilliant during the 2020/2021 NPFL season, netting a total of nineteen (19) goals for Nasarawa United, thus emerging as the highest goalscorer. At the 2020 Independent Cup, he finished at the tournament’s top goalscorer, representing HMD FC. This year, he is the sponsor of the top scorer’s gong.

Grassroots football in Nigeria

Grassroots football is something that the football community continues to talk about and everyone is in agreement that it is an extremely important part of football in Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria.

Grassroots is not just about providing top-flight clubs with a steady flow of young talent – it has a purpose that is much more deeply rooted in Nigerian football.

Thousands of young adults and teens play football every week across the country, and the grassroots community is what allows them to do this.

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It has become a cliché that sports ‘take children off the streets’, and affords them the opportunity to become what they want to be in life. Independent Cup, thus provided numerous youngsters the chance to follow their passion and equally enjoy themselves.

What the dignitaries say

Honourable Monsuru Oladipupo, Councilor of Ipaja Ward C makes pledge

Ipaja Councillor

“I am going to be fully involved in the next tournament because I want an inclusive government with people at the grassroots,” Hon. Oladipupo said.

He added: “I give it to the organizers because a lot of talents have been identified in this tournament. I expect clubs to come down to the grassroots here to come and pick players. This will of course add quality to our national teams, especially at age-grade levels.”

Famakinwa Lanre, Official intermediary of the NFF, harps on the significance of grassroots football

“This tournament gave us the opportunity to see the hidden talents. It is the tournament to beat here currently,” Lanre said. “We need to go back to the grassroots to make sure we connect the people to football. It will really help us.”

Sponsor, Abiodun Tiamiyu pleased

“I don’t like seeing young footballer wasting away. When you come to this field, you get to see a lot of talented boys. Some can’t even play football anymore because they are old, nobody to sponsor them, nobody to put them to the world. So, I decided to start this so we can bring in coaches, scouts, intermediaries, and the media, so that we can show them to the world,” Tiamiyu told the press.

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He added: “I did this alone last year. But this year is a bit better as I had few of my friends who supported me. I know it can always get better”.

2021 Champions, Orphiel FC at Independent Cup at Fela Field, Ipaja.

See some award winners of Independent Cup 2021 below:

CHAMPION – ORPHIEL FC

RUNNER UP – AJO ALL-STARS

BEST PLAYER – SULAIMON YUSUF

HIGHEST GOAL SCORER – LAWAL ABIODUN (6 GOALS)

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vantage News Nigeria or any employee thereof.

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