The iconic grassroots football competition kicks off amidst expectations that it could serve as a nursery for the discovery of future talent for the country’s national teams
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has expressed his delight at seeing one of his dreams come to reality after kicking off the 2021 Principal Cup in Lagos on Friday.
The Principals’ Cup is a hugely popular tournament among secondary school students in Nigeria, established in the 1960s.
The competition starts at a local level, then proceeds to the state level before it gets to the national level.
Having lost its reputation in recent years, the competition got a jolt back to life when the Ministry of Sports unveiled plans to revamp it last year.
Those plans finally came to fruition as the 2021 edition got underway on Friday, with Igbobi College and Government College Kaduna kicking off the competition at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.
Reviving the Principal’s Cup has been one of the cardinal programmes of Mr Dare, and the delighted government official could not hide his feelings after watching the kick-off of a competition that birthed great footballers for Nigeria in the past.
“It’s a dream come true to be here today, to watch young stars kick off the National Principal cup,” Mr Dare said, as per Blueprint.
“We are so proud of what they’ve done today. It is my hope that young talents will be discovered from this principal cup to become the likes of Daniel Amokachi, Franklin Howard, Tajudeen Disu, Waidi Akanni, who are here as a source of inspiration to these young stars.”
The Minister added: “The Principal’s Cup brought friendship and fostered unity; therefore, we want to bring back its lost glory.
“Some products of the Principal’s cup include Segun Odegbami, Daniel Amokachi, Henry Nwosu, Tajudeen Disu, Ali Jeje, who became notable internationals.
“Part of my vision when I assumed office is talents discovery. I will be glad if talents discovered here can become world stars like the Amokachis, Ekejis, Odegbamis, Adokiyes of this world,” he concluded.