After several years of absence, the once celebrated Principal’s Cup football competition for school schools is returning to the calendar of the Lagos State Football Association, which has announced that over 500 schools will feature in the resuscitated championship this year.
While unveiling the programme for the competition in Ikeja on Tuesday, chairman of Lagos State Football Association, Fouad Oki, said the state decided to rekindle the Principal’s Cup championship to unearth young football talents at the grassroots, as well as encourage children to participate in sports while in school.
“It is a thing of great joy for my association to bring back the Principal’s Cup Championship, which was popular in the 1960s and brought out stars.
“The development of football in Nigeria cannot be written without the Principal Cup.This year’s edition will come with new innovations, as girls will also be part of the tournament.
“Also, the Principal’s Cup, which formerly involved only public schools,will now incorporate private and faith-based old generation schools,” he said.
He said the organisers have introduced into the event the white card project initiated by FIFA,which means that apart from playing football, children interested in taking to coaching, refereeing and sports administration in future, would be trained in these disciplines.
Also speaking at the event, former Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, who is the vice president of the 2023 Principal’s Cup committee, said after the preliminary round of matches from the six educational districts of the state, 24 teams are expected to qualify for the next round from public schools, while eight private school teams would join them to make up the 32 that would be grouped for the championship play-offs.