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NDDC U-17 : We Will Be Strict With Age Cheats – Gwegwe

“The Grassroot Sports Federation is passionate about wiping age cheating from our football system, because it has done more harm that good. Most of our legends we still celebrate today were scouted at young age”.

By Patrick Ndubuisi

Organisers of the U-17 Niger Delta Peace Cup Football Competition have advised the Coordinators of the nine Niger Delta states, to ensure all participating players are within the age for the tournament.

Organising Secretary of the Tournament and Secretary of the Grassroot Sports Federation, South South Zone, Coach Ada Gwegwe, made this known in a statement signed and made available to journalists in Yenagoa, on Tuesday.

According to him, the essence of the competition is to discover talents and raise the next generation of players, and so, the aim must not be defeated by fielding over-aged players, as the organisers will not hesitate to disqualify teams that engage in age cheating.

“First, let me commend the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for partnering with us, GRASOF, to put up this competition”.

“This is purely grassroots football, and we want it to live up to expectation, because its already high. We, the organisers, will not tolerate teams registering any player older than seventeen (17) years, so we are calling on all the Coordinators of the Niger Dleta States, to abide by the rules, or risk disqualification from the tournament”.

The Organising Secretary while condemning age cheating and its negative impact on Nigerian football over the years, stressed the need to discover young talents and groom them for national assignments, and their professional careers.

“The Grassroot Sports Federation is passionate about wiping age cheating from our football system, because it has done more harm that good. Most of our legends we still celebrate today were scouted at young age”.

“If this competition continues yearly, as we hope, Nigerians will witness its impact, because it will become an avenue to produce players for our lower National cadre teams and even for academies. So this competition must be encouraged in its vision of ensuring all the participating teams use players within the stipulated age. It will benefit the country immensely”.

The preliminary stages of the U-17 Niger Delta Peace Cup competition, sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has commenced across the nine Niger Delta states, where two teams will emerge, before they proceed to Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on the 15th of next month, for the finals.

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