*FUBS engage Pinnick & friends in friendly at the event
*Courage Education Foundation sets new heights
traditional home of football in Lagos, the Campos Square in Ebute-Meta will be on fire on Friday with the fourth edition of the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity mini-tournament comes to a climax.
The highlight of the celebrity event is the friendly that is drawing the crème-la-crème in the nation’s sports and entertainment industry with the Friends United By Sports (FUBS) a WhatsApp amalgam of sports personalities engaging the Amaju Pinnick & friends in a well-celebrated and publicised game.
The Family United By Sports (FUBS) team: They will be coached by Nduka Ugbade, who captained Nigeria’s first cadet team to win the FIFA World Cup and was an assistant coach when the U-17 team won it for the fourth time in the United Arab Emirates in 2013.
Chief Coach: Jenkins Alumona, Assistant coach will be Aikhoje Ojeikere; Team Manager
will be Kunle Salami while former Super Eagles Media coordinator Benjamin Alaiya is the General Coordinator;
Team Doctor is Dr Kwekwu Tandoh while the team’s physiotherapist is Kulthoum Bakare and the Media Manager is Pooja Media; Super Sports diva, Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke is the Chairperson Supporters Club while the curator is Oladele Atoun and the Chief Security Officer is ACP Gideon Akinsola.
PLAYERS: They include Festus Keyamo (SAN), Ayodeji Tinubu (SA to Lagos State Governor on Sports), Olusegun Odegbami (former Nigerian captain), Taiwo Ogunjobi (former Nigeria international and former NFA Secretary General), Chris Green (ranking member of NFF Executive Committee) and Imama Amapakabo (NPFL title –winning coach with Enugu Rangers last year) already signed up for FUBS.
Others on parade will be former Director General of National Sports Commission, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye, Mr. Taye Ige, LMC’s Harry Iwuala, immediate past Lagos SWAN Chairman Fred Edoreh, cerebral Onome Obruthe, Beach soccer promoter Samson Adamu.
Newspaper editor Dapo Sotiminu while SWAN national officer Wale Joseph will be joined by ageless Victor Ezeji and radio pundit Bode Oguntuyi. Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter ‘Dodo-mayana’ Rufai may man the post while the professor of sports writing, Mumini Alao holds the aces for Charles Anazodo to analyse.
Former Ogun state commissioner for Sports, Hon Bukola Olopade will be on parade. Master comedian Ali Baba will be expected rather than play make the ball laugh with his comical control. Boss of African sports writing Mitchell Obi may be begging former Super Falcons goalkeeper Anne Chiejine to kee clean slates.
Sponsored by the 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, the event has over the years attracted leading administrators, top-notch artistes, Nollywood folks and ex-international footballers. A number of promising talents have been unearthed during the youth competition and gotten sponsorship support.
200 children have already benefitted: The competition’s main objective is provision of scholarships for smart but indigent children and support for ailing ex-international players. Over 200 children have been supported through the Courage Education Foundation, which has chosen the game of football to bring people together and raise funds for the Foundation’s goals.
Thorough, deliberate and averse to doing things in half measures, Akinwunmi, who has been Chairman of Lagos State Development and Football Association (LSDFA) for more than six years now, has driven the mini-tournament and the Foundation with a touch of class, charisma and consistency.
Greensprings International School Lagos: A well-thought partnership with Greensprings International School, Lagos has provided the perfect station for star discoveries to combine education with sport, which ultimately makes for a better athlete.
This year, Musa Alli and Elvis Onyenze, who have shone for Nigeria’s U-15 squad and look good enough to be considered for the next Nigeria U-17 squad, graduated from Greensprings International School.
“I want to really appreciate Greensprings International School for the hand of partnership they have lent to the Foundation. Together, we believe we can take this project very far and in a way that would be great for Nigerian Football development,” Akinwunmi added.
Musa Alli and Elvis Onyenze: “Our goal is to provide the perfect platform for the gifted but indigent child to fulfill his dream, through combining good education with a career in sport. Alli and Onyenze are examples of what we set out to do and they are still going strong, but there are many more on the way.
“The finale which will hold at the Campos Mini-Stadium is a spectacle for both good youth football and fun, with administrators and ex-internationals taking part in the novelty game. Here, we raise funds for the goals of the Foundation,” said Akinwunmi.
Popular stand-up comedian Gbenga Adeyinka will be referee of the match.
“The truth is that talents abound in the nooks and crannies of our country. They are waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Most are from poor homes and need support to climb that ladder to get close to their dreams.