By Sedara Philip
Sixty-five clubs from four states including the Federal Capital will battle for ₦6 million prize money as Merrybet 5stars Premier Futsal Football League kicks off on June 10 at Futsal Cathedral Astroturf Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.
The competition which offers a whooping six (6) million naira for the winners will see a total of 64 teams from Abuja, Warri (Delta State), Lagos and Ibadan all slugging it out
The tournament will see 12 Strong teams seeded in the Capital Territory with fellow regional heavyweights and two-time winners Suicide Jubril, perenial big guns Bojman FC, last season’s debutants TBT FC and a quartet of league debutants looking to be the upstarts in what is perceived by fans to be the “group of death”.
Last season finalists Mess Up FC were seeded in the Federal Territory with regular features Turf Arena and the formidable Theo FC, a group generally seen as the most open which also features a record five new league campaigners
Speaking at the event tagged ‘The Rise of Grassroots Football Development with investment Opportunities in Nigeria and Beyond’ were major stakeholders who have contributed and are still contributing to the development of the game at grassroots level .
The event which was held at Capital Bar, Transcorp Hilton Abuja witnessed a great turn out of business enthusiasts, the media and fans of the sport.
Some of the guest speakers which Include ex-Super Eagles player & S.A to Delta State Governor on Sports, Sam Sodje; MD Zkyte Tech, Mr Ayoola Dawudu; a Hospitality Entrepreneur, Mr. Jakpo Rayven; marketing manager for Kosisi Wears, Mr Abdulwahab and the owner of the foremost sports facility in Abuja, Turf Arena, Mr Mohammed Kamal-Deen raised so many salient issues and proffering solutions to the challenges faced by grassroots football development in the country.
The Managing Director, MD /CEO 5stars Premier League, Olumide Aturu said the ricocheting effect of the sport has been massive.
“When you look at the number of teams that are participating in this year’s edition and the regions that we are transversing, it shows the general acceptance of the sport and how people are connecting with grassroots football
“We started with 12 teams now we are 64 which is a massive acceptance of grassroots sports by the elite and is bringing recognition to the sport,” he concluded .