It was a new dawn in the history of school sports on Monday as the organisers of the re-branded Principal’s Cup announced three ex-internationals, Daniel Amokachi, Joseph Dosu, and Mary Onyali, as the ambassadors for the competition.
The trio were products of the school sports with Amokachi winning the competition in 1988 after getting to the knockout stages a year earlier with his school, Government College. Apart from the unveiling of the brand ambassadors for the Cup, the official logo and the winners’ giant trophy were also unveiled.
The landmark event was witnessed by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Gabriel Aduda, the consultant for the tournament, HideaPlus Limited, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick among others.
According to the Permanent Secretary, the main objective of the revived Principal’s Cup will be to discover and develop talents at the grassroots level while also exposing them to more competition and standard facilities.
“This historic event, the unveiling of the 2020 Principal Cup is yet another stride towards the actualization of mandates, vision, and mission of the Ministry of youth and sports development,” Aduda said.
In the past, football was the only sport tagged with the Principal Cup, but the ministry has added other sports like athletics, Table Tennis, Boxing, and Badminton.
In his remark, the sports minister, Dare said works actually started almost a year ago and despite the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the ministry and the consultant continue to work together.
He added: “With the return of the Principals’ Cup, we won’t start begging players of the Nigerian descent who already played for the junior teams of other countries.”
In his own remark, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of HideaPlus Limited, Rafiu Ladipo, who is also the President-General of the Nigeria Supporters Club, said the company will organise a befitting competition for the country.
The CEO of Hidea Plus, Tony Pemu, who has been in charge of the same championships in Delta State said the body would be strict with the ages of the athletes competing in the Principals’ Cup as they are going to keep the database of all participants.
The president of the Nigeria School Sports Federation, Olabisi Joseph (Mrs), promised that the body would put expertise in place to have a successful Principal Cup.