The maiden Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football (SACF) Tournament will begin in Gombe from Wednesday with the final to be played on Sept. 22.
The Coordinator and Chairman, Seyi Akinwunmi, said in on Tuesday in Lagos that the competition would help encourage scholarships to indigent students.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that SACF is a duly registered Non-Profit Organisation aimed at educating and developing indigent but intelligent and talented children in Nigeria.
Akinwunmi said that the foundation was birthed six years ago when he was elected the 1st Vice-President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF).
“This was done to complement the work of my already existing foundation known as the Courage Education Foundation (CEF) set up over 10 years previously for the development and education of indigent children in the society.
“The Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation (SACF) alongside its sister foundation, the Courage Education Foundation (CEF), is focused on generating and providing funds for the education of intelligent but indigent children.
“It also promotes the education and encouragement of talented indigent young footballers. We have held several projects in Lagos which has resulted in our sponsoring the education of over 200 children.
“Some of those that benefited have now graduated from tertiary Institutions while others have played for the Nigeria junior football teams,” he said.
Akinwunmi added: “We have now decided to spread our philanthropy and message of the importance of education alongside a football career, across the six geopolitical zones starting with the North-East Zone.
“Hence the birth of the Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament which will take place in Gombe State.
“The Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament will host 18 students from each of the North-East states as well as 18 each from 2 two invited teams.
“The objective is to use the tournament to convince the children of the value of amalgamating football and education,” he said.
Akinwunmi said he was confident that the 144 school children and their parents and families would serve as the foundation’s ambassadors across the North-East states.
“The media reports that it will generate in those parts will ensure that many more support from Nigerians.
“It will also encourage those with affiliations to the North-East will come out to support the 2nd edition of the Seyi Akinwunmi (North-East) Charity Football Tournament.
“Other Zones Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Football Tournament as they successively come up in the near future,” he said.
Akinwunmi noted that each of the students would be given school bags and materials to aid their education, they will also be given football jerseys and other prizes.
“In addition, we will give scholarship grants worth N150, 000 to the best players from each of the participating states, while the host state will have an extra slot for the scholarship grant.
“We are also specially giving the contingent from the IDP camp, a scholarship grant worth N250, 000,” he said
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)