The Higher Institutions Football League for Nigerian universities is a source for developing future talents that will represent the country in international football competitions and contribute to the development of sports.
Prof Sam Otamiri, Chairman, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Sports Council, Port Harcourt, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Uyo .
Otamiri said the league was established by the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) to discover talents in football from the university communities.
He noted that the competition, which the first edition began in 2018 had lived up to its objective by producing professional players from the Nigerian universities, some of whom were already playing for professional clubs within and outside the country.
“The competition is achieving its targeted purpose because at the end of the competition last year, more than five students from Nigerian universities were contracted to play in different professional football clubs within and outside Nigeria.
“How else can we project our talents, I think at the end of this second edition more students will be exposed to playing better football, for better prospects and for better revenue. I think we are achieving the reason for the establishment of this competition,” Otamiri said.
The professor of Educational Management and Basic Education, told NAN that apart from harnessing talents from universities, the competition also fosters unity, cooperation and deepens interaction among Nigerian universities.
He expressed satisfaction with the cooperation and commitment received from the vice-chancellors and university managements toward the success of the competition..
According to him, the vice-chancellors were cooperating as all the universities qualified to play were always present during the competition.
On the standard of officiating in the game, the professor commended the organisers and the officials for the standard exhibited in the higher institutions football league.
“The Higher Institutions Football League is doing well, we want to thank the sponsors and the management of NUGA for putting up this competition.
“This is the the first time we have seen it happen, where strict accreditation is being carried out to ensure that only university students play the game. We are happy with what is happening.
“There is hardly any University that is due to participate in this competition that will not come. This means that the vice-chancellors are trying,” he said.
He called on philanthropists, multinational organisations and private individuals to sponsor the competition as it would be a worthwhile ventures.
Otamiri commended his vice-chancellor for the moral and financial support given to the development of sports and contingent from Ajuru University of Education, describing him as sports-loving vice-chancellor.