Fifteen players have been selected from the South-West zone for the final of the maiden Global Grassroots Football Tournament (GGFT) scheduled to take place in Abuja on May 17.
Joseph Ombugala, Chief Zonal Coordinator, Global Grassroots Football Tournament, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) over the telephone on Sunday that the 15 players were chosen on merit.
“We saw players in the South-West that think with their feet,” he said.
Ombugala said that 60 players from the six states of the South-West zone participated in the rigorous selection process which eventually produced 15 players.
“So far, we have concluded South-South and South-East with seven and eight best players selected respectively for the final in Abuja.
“From South-South, we arrived South-West, using Obasanjo’s farm in Ogun State as base.
“When we came, we saw 60 selected best of best players ready for the tournament at Obasanjo’s farm.
“From the 60 players, Uchendu Nwabara, Proprietor of Prestige Football Academy, Abuja, myself and the Chief Scout, Yahaya Adamu, worked together to pick 15.
“We worked without sentiment. We saw talents and we were amazed with what we saw in the South-West,” Ombugala said.
According to him, none of the players that emerged from the scouting process will be rejected going by the quality of talents on parade.
He said that players so far selected were presumed the best and would in no distant time play for the country’s various national teams.
“We believe that none of the players we selected in the various zones will be rejected by foreign scouts because we worked without bias.
“We can decide to leave a zone if we don’t see quality players because a lot of people are coming to watch the final in Abuja and we won’t want to feed them with underperforming players.
“This is one of the best scouting programme I have ever seen in Nigeria and we hope to sustain it on annual basis.
“We are here to select and give opportunity to the best players to showcase themselves. These players performance in the future will go a long way to show what we have done.
“We hope that players that emerge from our tournament will win Africa and World footballers award,” Ombugala said.
NAN reports that the tournament moves to North-East (Bauchi) zone beginning from May 8, after its successful outing in South-West.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria