Over five thousand players have been registered for the first edition of the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu under-21 Youth Cup, BOS Youth Cup.
The Youth Cup is an initiative of all Senior Special Advisers, SSA’s, to the Governor as part of efforts to curb youth restiveness in Lagos State.
During the screening of intending players at the Agege Township Stadium, the Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association Technical Committee, Mr. Dotun Coker said the selection process cuts across all Local Government and Local Council Development Areas of the state.
Coker disclosed that some corporate organisations within and outside Nigeria would be involved in the BOS Youth Cup tournament for football development and academic scholarship to players participating in the competition to bring glory to themselves, families, local governments and Lagos State.
He also explained that the Committee is partnering with scouting groups, like the Stellar group in the United Kingdom and African Agency to identify and support the football career of participating players.
He added that all players must have Lagos State Residents Registration Agency card and must be either twenty-one year old or below as of the time of registration in order to qualify for the tournament.
In a chat with newsmen during the screening, a grassroots coach in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area, Mr. Alao Suraju, commended the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration for the development of football at the grassroots level.
Suraju who commended the organisers of the BOS Youth Cup for organising the football tournament, said the competition would add a lot of value to the development of football at the grassroots and therefore urged them to make it a continuous exercise.
One of the players selected for the BOS Cup, Umeh Cornelius, a resident of Ketu in Kosofe Local Government Area, said he hopes to achieve his dream of playing professional football in Europe through the competition.
He said: “I am here for the BOS Youth Cup and this is actually my first time in this kind of screening. I am happy and thank the organisers of the competition for the opportunity they have given to us.
“My expectation is for me to do my best, play well and show my strength during the competition. I believe that I would be connected to the world through the competition. I want to play for PSG of France because my football mentor, Neymar is playing there.”
Another youth taking part in the competition, Kehinde Olawale said: “I am going to become star after the competition. I hope to play in the national team and also play professional football in Europe.”
He also commended the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration and the organisers of the BOS Youth Cup for giving him and other youths a platform to showcase their talents with the hope of becoming a professional footballer in future.