FROT group, Edo FA plan South South Champion of Champions tourney
The Edo Football Association and its biggest sponsor, FROT Group, have concluded arrangements for a championship which will give all the FA Cup champions of the South South states the opportunity to fine-tune their teams ahead of the national Federation Cup later this year.
The competition, tagged South South Champion of Champions tournament, will feature teams from Rivers, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa states, who will gather in Benin City for play for a N1 million prize money and a giant trophy.
FROT Group recently sponsored the highly successful Edo FA Cup, which, according to the state’s football association Chairman, Frank Ilaboya, prompted the decision to organise the Champion of Champions competition for teams from the South South zone.
“The South South Champion of Champions, which will hold in the middle of May, will help the teams from the zone to test their might against the possible opposition they will meet during the national championship. It is also part of our efforts to revive the Edo State football culture.
“Our vision is to keep Edo State busy at all times and also give the budding talents in our state the avenue to express themselves.”
Ilaboya disclosed that the competition would involve national team coaches at all levels, adding that at the end of the competition they will keep a database of all the players who featured in the competition.
He added: “We will play in two centres, which is the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium and the University of Benin sports centre with eight teams including Edo FA Cup runners up and the Insurance of Benin.
“We have already discussed with the FA chairmen of the states and they have agreed to be part of it. We have also informed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), who arte the custodians of the game in the country and they are in support of it.”
Explaining his company’ support for the competition, FROT Group President, Frank Momoh, said his company wants to help grow the game in the country because it is the biggest galvaniser of the youths of the country, adding that many Nigerians can make their living through football.
“The Edo FA Cup was the pilot project we used to know the nitty-gritty of football sponsorship. Because of its success, we decided to take it a little notch higher.
“We were able to see some diamonds that need polishing and so we decided to bring all the FA Cup winners of the South South states to the Champion of Champions tournament.
“The Champion of Champions winner will get N1 million, while the second placed team will get N500, 000. All the teams will get appearance fees and as the Edo FA chairman has said, the competition will be in a knockout format, with final holding at the Sam Ogbemudia Stadium.
“I hope all the other zones will borrow a leaf from this initiative and start their own competition so that we can have a national championship in the future.”