As they Lagos FA Cup kicks off on Saturday, March 30, Vice Chairman of the Lagos Football Association and President of the Nigeria Referees Association, Tade Azeez, has declared that all participating teams are winners, advising that players should look beyond winning the tournament to sell themselves for a rewarding professional career.
Azeez made the declaration at the Draws Ceremony held at the Secretariat of the Lagos Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Thursday morning.
“In the Lagos FA Cup, every team and every player is a winner. It is important to aspire to win the tournament but even when your team does not win, the players still have great benefits,” Azeez pointed out.
“The event is a platform for players to show their skills for talent discovery. Both big teams and small teams have opportunity to play and players have opportunity to showcase themselves for recognition and possible sign on by bigger teams in the country and abroad. It is therefore important for players to take the competition seriously and give their best.”
He assured that the state FA has the capacity to provide technical support for teams that might require them to do well in the competition.
“We have the coaches and technical personnel to support the teams in the tournament. We can probably deploy this at about the quarter finals but that is if the teams ask for it because some club managers may feel uncomfortable with new hands coming into the technical affairs of their teams and would say they have come to disrupt their plans. But if they ask for it, we have the resources and we will avail them because the whole idea is for the development of the game.”
The Lagos FA Cup sponsored by Winners Golden Bet over the years is a flagship programme of Ekofootball and has continued to grow bigger and better with many more teams joining in.
The 2019 edition features 87 male teams and 8 women teams.