By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The largest promoter of freestyle football in Africa, Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, has announced the maiden edition of the Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 championship.
At a press briefing held last week, Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, Mr Valentine Ozigbo, who is the immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Plc, said the Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 will commence on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, while the grand finale is slated for Monday, July 20, 2020.
According to Mr Ozigbo, the championship is going to be online and packed with prizes and surprises to “develop and nurture an art, a lifestyle, and a passion for many”.
He called on well-meaning sponsors and sports-lovers alike to seize this chance to push forward a culture that can rally people and foster unity and oneness.
At the briefing held on Zoom, Mr Ozigbo expressed his passion and commitment to continue to grow freestyle football in Africa, saying, “We will not stop till an African emerges the World Champion, and we host the World Freestyle Football Championships in Nigeria and, who knows, it might even be in my home state of Anambra.”
While noting that the world was going through a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, he explained that his passion for the development of the freestyle genre of football spurred him to find a way past the pandemic in order to continue a tradition which had become his passion.
He further stated that while most other sports had shut or scaled down, freestyle football can go on very easily in a non-contact manner to respect the physical distancing rules.
The press conference was attended by over 150 participants including leading publishers, journalists, professional freestylers, and sports enthusiasts from across the continent.
At the event, Daniel Wood thanked Mr Ozigbo for seeing beyond the despair and helplessness in the world to hope and opportunities using virtual means.
He stated that the global lockdown caused a lull in global sporting activities and applauded Mr Ozigbo for his tenacity, as Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 is the only freestyle competition holding this year asides the World Freestyle Football Championship which is currently ongoing.
He also expressed his enthusiasm for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 as he saw it as an opportunity to showcase the beauty and talents that are untapped in Africa.
On his part, President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, wished Feet ‘N’ Tricks the best of luck for Freestyle Unlocked Africa 2020 and pledged support from the country’s football federation.
It was gathered that the event will have male and female competitors win daily prizes while freestyle footballers would compete for the $1000 grand prize. A total of $6,300 will be given out in cash prizes.
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