Nigeria has set benchmark for Airtel U-17 Africa championship –Uganda FA

Posted by News Express | 19 September 2013 | 5,183 times

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The Youth Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has praised Airtel Nigeria for the quality of players, level of discipline and impressive organisation of this year’s Airtel Rising Stars Africa U-17 Championship, saying that the level of competition has increased drastically.

Dr Ogwel Benard Patrick, Vice President of FUFA – Youth, who accompanied the his country’s male and female teams to the on-going tournament in Lagos, said this year’s competition has set a benchmark for future tournaments following the outstanding performance of the players, extraordinary football skills and good organisation.

His words: “I was in Nairobi, Kenya, last year and I saw the entire competition, but this year, Nigeria has set a commendable benchmark as regarding ARS tournament. So, all African teams that are sleeping are roused from their slumber. They can see the level of skills and talents being developed through the Airtel Rising Stars so they have to wake up to the challenge in order to meet up with other African countries.

“You can see that ARS is raising the best stars when it comes to African football in the U-17 category; the initiative has been motivating countries to produce quality players that will represent them. I want to commend Airtel for giving both the boys and girls this opportunity to participate.”

Dr Patrick also noted the high level of discipline among the players taking part in the competition, saying that “the attitude of the young players and the number of yellow and red cards recorded so far in the tournament show that football in Africa has developed. These players are the ones that will represent their countries in the near future. And you can see that all the countries are capable of producing stars across the African continent.” 

Regarding the tournament, he said officiating, so far, has been standard and unbiased and that is why the competition has been rated high. The Ugandan female team came out tops in Group C but the male team crashed out of the tournament.

Speaking on his experience in Nigeria, Dr Patrick said: “Nigerians are good people. What we read in the papers is quite different from what we have experienced today. We have not recorded any incident so far. We come out at night and we feel safe. The country is accommodating.”

•Photo by Rukevwe Onoharigho shows action during a match at Agege Stadium, one of the venues of this year’s ARS.

Source: News Express

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