By Patrick Omorodion
All roads will tomorrow lead to the Liberation stadium in Port Harcourt as the 12th NNPC/Shell Cup semi-final matches hold there with four schools, Mbagba-Nanev Community Secondary School, Adipko, Benue State, Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School, Bauchi and Government Secondary School, Owerri will slug it out for the final tickets.
The first semi-final, according to Shola Akinwale, National Co-ordinator of the competition, will be between former champions, Baptist Boys High School and Government Secondary School while Mbagba-Nanev Community School and Government Comprehensive Day Secondary School will take to the pitch thereafter.
Winners of the two semi- finals will return to the same venue on Sunday for the final match, two hours after the losers would have battled each other for the bronze medal. All the four semi-finalists are however entitled to cash prizes to be presented by the sponsors, NNPC/Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Rotimi Amaechi, is expected to grace the final where former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, a.k.a Dodo Mayana, has been invited as special guest of honour to â€œmotivate the young school boysÂ that would be doing battle for the trophy that attracts the highest youth development cash prize in the country.â€
Akinwale added that â€œRufai has been in the vanguard of grass-root football development in recent times and has been encouraging youths that would also become great stars in future.
It would be recalled thatÂ Rufai is also an ambassador of Copa Coca Cola along with other ex_internationals like Victor Ikpeba, Yisa Sofoluwe, Samson Siasia and a host of others that are already scouting for talented U_17 boys across the country that would take part in the next edition of the championship.â€