The Lagos State Principal Cup Committee is optimistic about organizing a football competition for world-class secondary school pupils in the state as the tournament will kick off next month across the State’s six educational districts.
Its Chairman, Rasaq Ajala, who made this statement while addressing sports journalists and other sports stakeholders at a media parley which was held on Tuesday at the Ivory Health Club, Off Allen, Ikeja, gave the assurance that the committee would not relent in its efforts to add value to the competition which was over sixty years old.
Ajala, who doubles as the Executive Chairman of Odi Olowo Local Council Development Area, LCDA, said the history of football development could not be mentioned without referring to the Principal Cup which had discovered Nigeria’s great players in the mold of Peter Rufai, Stephen Keshi, Samson Siasia, Henry Nwosu, Tajudeen Disu, Waheed Akanni among others.
While appreciating the efforts of the Lagos State Football Association, LSFA, in uplifting and revamping one of the oldest grassroots competitions, the Committee’s boss, explained that the Principal Cup would enable the organizers to discover talented football players who would be exposed to topflight football leagues.
“We have resolved to include secondary school female football players in the tournament and it would be divided into two categories, Junior and Senior Secondary. 32 teams will be drawn into 8 Groups while the top two schools in each group will qualify for the round of 16. The Committee has decided to introduce the Principal Cup Handbook which contains the rules and regulations of the competition to all the 500 participating schools expected to feature in the game”
According to him, the tournament designed for both Public and Private Secondary Schools, will see eight teams from the private secondary schools qualifying for the play-off while twenty-four teams from the public schools will scale through to the play-off which is the round of 32.
While commending Governor Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, for lifting the standard of sports in the State, the Committee thanked the LSFA boss, Ogboni Fouad Oki, for supporting the Committee to revamp the Principal Cup.
He said the Committee in synergy with the LSFA has decided to partner with the Lagos Television, LTV, with the mindset of beaming the matches live.