Nigerian youths are currently battling for international recognition at the Ilaji Under Sixteen National Football Tournament, put together by the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria, (YSFON).
The tournament is being sponsored by the Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort in Oyo State.
Day one of the events was full of emotion, with about 16 teams across Nigeria in attendance.
Immediately after the screening session, action commenced, and the opening ceremony witnessed the presence of the Ilaji management team, led by the Chief Operating Officer, Prince Adesina Araoye, who was accompanied by a team of football scouts from Malta.
YSFON, whose technical ability was not in doubt, brought the expected finesse, as fans had a full day.
The opening ceremony saw the home side, the Ilaji Under Sixteen Boys team, confronting their Ondo counterparts.
The tension-soaked encounter Iater turned one-sided, as the Ilaji team thrashed the Ondo U-16 team 7-0.
The scouts, led by Dr Justin Fenech, President of Sweiqi United FC, Malta, could not hide his excitement, as his colleagues gave kudos to the boys from both sides, whose individual talents were amazing.
The National Secretary of YSFON, Olorogun Patrick Okpavhuere, and Technical Director, Abdulgafar Agboola, have assured the fans, that the days ahead will witness more intriguing action, as all players are on their toes, waiting to be counted among the future stars.
Day two of the tournament promises to be more exciting, as fans of the various teams do not want to be left behind.
On Wednesday, Sanusi Boys will tackle Ekiti at 9.00 am, while the Lagos U-16 team will confront their Oyo counterparts at 10.00 am, and Osun will face Kebbi at 11.00 am.
Katsina will round off the day’s proceedings with Ondo at 2 p.m.
Being a round-robin game, the group winners will qualify for the quarterfinals, as the drum beat gets louder.
(Editor: Ifeanyi Mark)