South-West map

Arrangements have been concluded to hold the maiden edition of Western Nigeria Heads of Service (HOS) football festival towards
developing talents and fostering healthy relationship among states.

Seyi Akinwunmi, the Chairman, Western Nigeria Football Forum (WNFF), disclosed this in a statement issued by the forum on Sunday after its inaugural meeting in Ibadan.

He said the festival was aimed at fostering healthy relationship among the states in south-west Nigeria and help discover more talents.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akinwunmi is co-chairing the competition’s Main Organising Committee (MOC) with Toyin Akinkuotu, the Ondo State Head of Service.

Akinwunmi disclosed that the festival would not only develop football in the zone, but foster healthy relationship and build social capital among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of state governments.

He said that the initiative would be an effective structure for positive youth engagement in the region and provide avenue for the empowerment of young people for positive development.

“Each state in the zone will present two teams in both the male and female categories to participate at the final stages.

“This stage will be graciously hosted by Ondo State later in the year. Our plan is to make it an annual event that will be rotational among the states in the zone.

“Our aim is to use football engender deeper relationships between the states,” Akinwunmi, who is the First Vice-President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said.

He added that the committee has requested that each state in the zone should hold its preliminary matches where winners would emerge for the final scheduled to hold from July to August in Akure.

Mr Akin Akinbobola, WNFF Executive Secretary, assured that the maiden edition of the festival would be hitch free.

He said that all hands were on deck to make the festival a successful one that would usher in a new dawn in Nigerian football history.

Members of the organising committee include Seye Oyeleye, the Director-General of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, and Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Head of Service (HOS), Lagos State.

Others are Olanrewaju Bisiriyu, the HOS of Ogun, Hannah Ogunesan, HOS of Oyo State, Ayodeji Ajayi, HOS of Ekiti, and Gboyega Oyebade, HOS of Osun.

The rest are Tade Azeez, the President of Nigerian Referees Association (NRA), and Ganiyu Majekodunmi, a member of the NFF Executive Committee.