Besides the contest, the NPFL All Stars game with Valencia FC on Wednesday night will serve as a fundraiser for victims of forest fire disaster in Alzira, a neighboring town to Valencia in the South Mediterranean axis of Spain, officials of the LaLiga have informed.
This is to activate investment in social cause which is a very key component of the technical and commercial partnership between the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Spanish Professional Football League (LaLiga).
The friendly engagement which precedes the Nigerian League star cast participation in the 62nd Trofeo Ramon de Carranza tournament in the city of Cadiz is being organised to raise fund for residents of Alzira who suffered from severe forest fires in June this year.
The NPFL All Stars are excited to be part of the charity project and though they trained on Tuesday morning at the Valencia FC Academy circuit and visited the main Valencia Stadium situated in the middle city in the afternoon, the match itself is, indeed, scheduled to hold at the Estádi Luis Sunner Pico in Alzira where the All Stars trained in the evening.
The people of Alzira is already bubbling with the prospects of having Valencia, the darling club of their region and the visitors from Nigeia coming to trade tackles in the town.
“Valencia CF has arranged to donate the entire benefits from the tickets sales to help those affected in the area”, LaLiga President Javier Tebas said in a welcome message to the Nigerian delegation.
It was a message that has touched some of the squad members of the NPFL All-Star, admitting that they have been exposed to yet another important value of football.
Looking ahead the Wednesday night fixture, Rangers attacking midfielder, Obinna Nwobodo said the knowledge that he would be playing in a match that will support people he does not know personal has given him some personal satisfaction.
“Some of us have been lucky to be in this team but personally, it is not winning the match that counts now but the fact that I am contributing to support people who suffered from a disaster. It gives me more satisfaction that winning the match but then, as a footballer, we play to win and I hope to help my team win if selected”, Nwobodo told npfl.ng after their first feel of the training pitch at Valencia FC Cuitat Esportivo.
Kano Pillars Rabiu Ali also expressed delight at being part of a fund raising event and urged clubs in Nigeria to start using their resources to support charity. “Being selected from the 20 clubs with so many players is very good for me and it is even more important that I am going to help people by playing in a match. I want our league and the clubs to also do similar things back home”.
Ismaila Gata who switched from Niger Tornadoes to FC IfeanyiUbah midseason said, “the partnership between LMC and LaLiga is a good thing for us overall and now, we have the blessing of being part of a charity match. This is good and I believe there are so many other benefits that will come from this tour”.
Team handler, Salisu Yusuf spoke more on the match and noted that, “We know that Valencia is a big club in a big league. We have seen their high standard facilities and good level of organisation but we are here to give a good account of ourselves and to promote our country and our football. We will give Valencia a good match.”
“We know their style of play. We know they like to attack and they like to win and we are ready for them.”
The match comes up at 8.30pm Nigerian time on Wednesday and will be broadcast live on Supersport and Africa Independent Television (AIT).