The event, which had in attendance MTN officials, staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Sports, members of the Local Organising Committee, LCDA Chairmen, Commissioners, honourable members of the house of assembly, gentlemen of the press, sports fans and families of winners, was organised to celebrate with the winners of the Male, U-15 and the Female categories of the championship, ABS Street of Mosan Okunola LCDA, Folarin Gbadebo Street of Ojokoro and Triumph Football Academy, of Lagos West Island, respectively.
Speaking at the event, MTN’s Event and Sponsorship Manager, Mr. Dola Bamgboye, explained why the company is always in the forefront, of discovering and nurturing talents, from different facets of our country’s vast repository of resourceful young men and women. In his words “MTN has, over the years, tilted its passion towards unearthing future stars, in various sectors, including music, entertainment, ICT and sports, across the nation and we are pleased to discover another set of soccer stars. These winners are now our ambassadors and we will make sure, through this platform that they get to global fame.”
Speaking about the U-15 category champions, Mr. Bamgboye said that the young stars, with their soccer artistry and prowess, will, in no distant time, be part of the nation’s U-17 National team. “I want to assure all present, at this August occasion, that we are presenting to you, future stars of Nigerian football and I am proud to say that they are our ambassadors” he declared. Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the MTN Lagos Street Soccer, Local Organising Committee, Mr. Deji Aladegbemi, while congratulating the winners, commended the leading ICT Company, MTN Nigeria, for supporting the tournament that recorded a massive turn-out and with over 800 teams showing interest. “We are grateful to MTN Nigeria, for solidly supporting this platform, which has, continuously, unearthed grassroots soccer stars and taking them to global fame, for the past five years”. He said.
In a similar vein, the coaches of the winning teams, on behalf of their respective teams, while expressing their joy and aspirations on their new statuses, also appreciated the efforts of MTN, for having taken them this far. Hassan Taiwo, coach of Triumph Football Academy of Lagos West Island said “with a company like MTN, the youths, across the nation, can see a bright future”. The MTN Lagos Street Soccer is a five-a-side tournament that is in its sixth edition. It is one of the many ways in which MTN is contributing to youth development. It is also a platform that gives young soccer talents the privilege to showcase their skills and get exposed to advanced facilities, within Nigeria and overseas.
It is interesting to note that, apart from the prize money, the winners of the male, female and U-15 categories, of this season of MTN Lagos Street Soccer tournament, will have the opportunity to travel to Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha, Qatar, to improve their football potential and intelligence. The teams will also have the opportunity to be part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, in the UAE, in October.