Team Mutiu Adepoju came from one goal down to beat Team Dosu Joseph 4-3 on penalties to emerge champions of the maiden edition of the Salute Match on Sunday after the normal regulation period had ended 1-1.The novelty match was organized to honour the living Nigerian football legends following their neglects by the same country they served during their active football days.
And the head coordinator for Amateur Become Professional, Emmanuel Amuwo the initiative is meant to encourage stakeholders and administrators celebrate the players while they are still alive.
“There’s a need to celebrate our ex-internationals, there has been an aspect of use them dump, we wan to stop that,” Amuwo told tomiwababalola.com.
“They don’t have to be celebrated when they are dead, they are meant to be celebrated when they are still alive and that is the essence of the Freelance Cup Salute match, where we gather amateur players play while the ex-internationals watch them play.” He continued.
Amuwo also explained that the maiden edition of the Freelance Cup set for this December is to give amateur players hoping to turn professionals a platform to express and expose themselves.
He added that the competition will accommodate just 12 teams who will compete for top prize, and also get a chance to attract the attention foreign scouts who will be watching when the competition proper starts later in the year.
“We are putting together a coach less grassroots football competition in December, and the reason behind this is to ensure that we build role models out of these players on and off the pitch.
“This competition isn’t just about playing football, but also cultivating a disciplined lifestyle that will help them achieve their aim of becoming stars in future.
“We aim to discover, nurture and promote the players we discover from this tournament. We also intend to send some players abroad because we are going to have some players come in.
“We are not looking to have a football academy, but create a platform for academy owners to give exposure to their players.”