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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Executive chairman Plateau State FA
Hon. Sunday Samson Longbap

Executive chairman of Plateau State Football Association, Hon. Sunday Samson Longbap has revealed the board’s plans to organize both primary, secondary as well as local government football tournaments in the state to harness more talents for Nigeria.

Hon. Longbap who was speaking as guest on a popular sports show on the Plateau, Total Football Extra on Peace 90.5 FM, Jos with Sammy Adesoji on Sunday, noted that the new programme which have been scheduled to get underway after the lockdown were designed to produce more talented young players fit enough to play for Nigeria’s Future Eagles and Golden Eaglets.

He said the association’s programs which have been arranged to meet with Nigeria Football Federation, NFF’s requirements on age grade national teams have produced lots of players including Super Eagles’ defender Chidozie Awaziem, among others.

" We have a lots of plans starting from the age group tournament, growing up to the senior championship, this is just to keep in touch with NFF’s new guidelines that for you to play in the U17 (Golden Eaglets) you must be from an academy and must be a registered academy.

" So we don’t want to pick anybody out of card academies because and we believe we would get correct age group players that we’ll nurture for Under 17. So all registered academies must have a complete data of a child and we cannot have that without having a similar tournament that will bring out the best for us to produce for the national team.

" So, we call it future eagles, its a program that is suppose to start from the grasaroots and we are keying into it. We’ve been sending a lot of players to the national teams.

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For the records, Chidozie Awaziem is one of the products of youth programmes from Plateau State, and he’s making us proud with his performance and we have more of him here. We have primary school competition for U13, U15 which all Local Government Areas are participating.

" We are planning to meet with the ministry of education to revamp the Principal’s Cup which will be one of our major programme we will be looking at from next year,” he said.

Hon. Longbap who is also a member of NFF’s Football Reform Committee however appealed to soccer faithful in the state be patient and stay safe from the Coronavirus pandemic which has paralyzed major activities including football.

And to football fraternity on the Plateau who are eager to have football, which has been under ban back to live, says:

" I want to appeal to football family that we should be patient, this Coronavirus is still having its way, we need to follow NCDC’s guidelines to the core, and I’m assuring you that as soon as we are able to meet up with requirements from Covid19, football will come and we’ll participate.”

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