Liberty Stadium, Ibadan will host the Pepsi Football Academy U-15 National Tournament today in its pursuit of scouting U-17 players for the nation.
Students from 14 training centres of the academy from across Nigeria will converge for the two-day competition as part of the activities marking the 20th anniversary of the academy reputed as the oldest and biggest football academy in sub- Sahara Africa.
Director of the Academy, Dr. Kasimawo Laloko, said the event was restricted to only the youngsters with a view to enabling the coaches test the level of their skills development.
“You cannot continue to train these young boys all year round without providing the opportunity for them to play in a competition else there will be no motivation for them to train and work hard,” Laloko said.
Consultant to the Pepsi Football Academy, Mr. Iain Nelson, said the tournament would highlight the abundant talents that the academy had produced for Nigeria since the academy was established in 1992. The products include Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie and Sporting Braga’s Elderson Echiejile, among others.