President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick has commended the efforts of the NFF 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi towards educating indigent children in Lagos State and catering for the needs of ex-international players.
On Sunday, Akinwunmi, who is also Chairman of Lagos State Football Association, took his love for charity to a new level with a charity mini-tournament at the Campos Memorial Mini-Stadium that drew scores of future stars and several ex-international players who have over the years benefited from his foundation.
“The NFF is proud of the efforts of Seyi Akinwunmi in the area of charity. He did not start just recently; I am told his foundation has been on for nine years now. That is praiseworthy. That tells you the quality of people on the new NFF Executive Committee.
“There are a lot of areas that we need to look at in football. What Lagos State has done in the past four years under Akinwunmi has to be emulated by several other states in the country,” Pinnick said on Monday.
Lagos State Football Association was on ground with its high-flying project, Eko Football Future Stars, and the U-13, U-15, U-17 and women teams thrilled the audience to fascinating skills in a number of games that began in the morning, before a couple of novelty sessions that included several ex-international players and football administrators.
Akinwumi explained the rationale behind the mini-tournament.
“Upon my recent assumption to office as 1st Vice President of NFF, several colleagues and associates sought to host me to a celebratory party but I humbly declined, opting rather to host a charity event to raise funds. I wanted something that would impact better on society.
“The aim is to educate 200 or more intelligent and indigent children in Lagos State, and also to pay hospital bills of selected ex-international footballers and start a fund to create an insurance scheme for footballers in Lagos State.
“Actually, I have a foundation which is in its ninth year and has been doing something with regards to these. We want to take things to a higher level. Whatever we are able to raise from this event will go to the foundation, and there is a lump sum that will go to ex-internationals through the Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria.”
NFF Executive Committee Member, Otunba Sunday Dele-Ajayi represented the NFF President at the event, with Ekiti State Football Association chairman, Dr. Isaac Ayodele and Chief Kashimawo Laloko, founder of the Pepsi Football Academy, also in attendance.
Alhaji Tade Azeez, vice chairman of Lagos State Football Association; Mr. Adeyinka Adeboye, special assistant to Lagos State Governor of Football Matters; Dr. Kweku Tandoh, Director of Sports, Lagos State; Members of Lagos FA executive committee; NFF’s Assistant Director (Communications), Ademola Olajire; Mr Emmanuel Ibru; Mr. Deji Beecroft of WinnersGoldenBet and; ex-internationals like Henry Nwosu, Friday Ekpo, Yisa Sofoluwe, Fatai Amao, Mike Onyemachara, Teslim Fatusi, Gbenga Okunowo, Baldwin Bazuaye and Austin Popo were also present.