The third edition of the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Mini-Tournament will hold at the Campos Square, Lagos on Thursday, 29thDecember 2016. Barr. Akinwunmi is the 1st Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation.
Conceived as a special project to give back to the society, by an individual who is much in love with the young ones, the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Mini- Tournament is the eponymous charity event organized by the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation.
Its objectives include rehabilitation of ailing ex-international footballers. Embedded therein also is a Courage Education Foundation (CEF) – a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of the Nigerian child through the provision of quality education available to all Nigerian children irrespective of sex, faith or ethnicity, as well as Consolidation of The Future Stars Project – a grassroots football development program targeted at kids (mainly under 13 years of age) and hinged on the binary factors of sporting and academic excellence.
At the second edition last year, Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was among the dignitaries, with NFF President Amaju Pinnick, NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko, NFF Board Member Sunday Dele-Ajayi, Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission Deji Tinubu, and LMC CEO Hon. Nduka Irabor also present.
There were also the Seriki of Egbaland, Oba Tosin Fadare, President of the Nigeria Referees Association Tade Azeez, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club and Chairmen of Football Associations of Ogun and Oyo States, Ganiyu Majekodunmi and James Odeniran. Former Ekiti State FA chairman Isaac Ayodele was also in attendance.
Also at last year’s edition, Akinwunmi, who captained the Igbobi College Old Boys Association and Friends in the veterans’ game against Amaju Pinnick –led All-Stars said: “I am very excited because this is only the second edition and yet, it feels like it has been going on for decades. The number of dignitaries, the atmosphere, the goodwill, I’m so happy. I believe there is no greater joy in giving back to the society, and I’m very comfortable with the cause that the Seyi Akinwunmi Foundation has chosen.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick played the entire duration of the veterans’ game and scored a stunner for the opening goal in his team’s 3-2 win. He told thenff.com: “The twin factors of assisting the young ones to attain academic and sporting excellence by the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Foundation is noble. We must commend him for coming up with this idea.
“The present NFF administration is committed to youth development, so we will always give total support to projects like this.”
NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko, who also played the entire duration of the veterans’ game, on the side of the All-Stars that posted some eye –catching displays, also lauded the Akinwunmi Foundation: “There is absolutely nothing like giving back to humanity. This program is spot-on in the area of charity and youth development and deserves the support of every lover of humanity.”
Last year, there were matches by teams in the U-13 category as curtain-raiser, while the final of the Mini-Tournament itself, between Team MTN and 36 Lion Investment, ended 2-1 in favour of Team MTN.
On his assumption of office as NFF 1st VP two years ago, colleagues and associates of the debonair lawyer sought to host Akinwunmi to a celebratory party but he humbly declined, opting rather to host a charity event for intelligent and indigent children in Lagos State. From an idea to bring together friends, colleagues, associates and well-wishers in a convivial atmosphere to enjoy football and also raise funds for a good cause, the Seyi Akinwunmi Charity Mini-Tournament was conceived as a special project to give back to the society.