This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Eagles' Afcon Success Inspires Imansuagbon Cup

The Super Eagles triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations has been identified as the force behind the sponsorship of this year's Federal Capital Territory Secondary Schools Football Competition.

The cup donor Kenneth Imansuagbon said he resolved to continue with the annual competition after the Eagles beat Burkina Faso in Johannesburg to end the19-year drought since Nigeria last won their second Africa Cup of Nations title.

The Imansuagbon Cup now in its fifth year is the FCT version of the Principals Cup for students. The tournament which is for boys and girls will officially kick off Monday across four centres in Abuja with about 116 schools in the nation's capital jostling for the trophies and cash prizes.

Imansuagbon told reporters that the unprecedented public goodwill that trailed the Super Eagles has proved beyond doubt that football has the potency to unify a nation.

"Football is a unifying tool that brings people of different races and colour together. The victory of the national team at the Africa Cup of Nations has underlined this fact. And we are building on that through this tournament by discovering talented young boys and girls in the secondary schools to unite in fighting crimes and other bad deeds through football. The energy they exert during their leisure time can now be channelled towards productive ventures like football," Imansuagbon said.

He said that the success of the home-based Super Eagles players as typified by Sunday Mba was a clear demonstration that talents are abound at the local football scene and more of them could be discovered from the grassroots competitions.

He noted that hitherto unknown football talents have, in the course of the tournament, proved that with more focus and commitment on grassroots sport, youths of the country can bring glory to the country.

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