The former Super Eagles striker has been announced as one of the faces of the oldest grassroots football championship in Nigeria
Former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has been named as one of the ambassadors of the National Principal’s Cup competition.
The football tournament held amongst secondary schools remains Nigeria’s oldest grassroots tournament and it has produced several household names in the beautiful game.
And as part of the ministry of sports’ effort to give the championship a facelift, the former Nigeria international was announced as one of the faces of the Principal’s Cup.
Other ambassadors include Joseph Dosu, Daniel Amokachi, Tajudeen Disu and Mary Onyali.
Reacting to the development on social media, the 32-year-old Al Shabab striker expressed his delight with the ‘recognition’.
“Special thanks and appreciation to the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports for this recognition and honour for seeing me worthy to be the Face (ambassador) of the National Principal’s Cup,” Ighalo wrote on Instagram.
“And for the acknowledgement of my contributions to help and mentor our Youth. I am indeed honoured and look forward to very fruitful working relationships.”
Nigeria’s sports minister Sunday Dare tagged the competition as a ‘factory’ for producing budding talent for the country while promising the tourney would continue to flourish even when he leaves office.
“The return of the Principal’s Cup will ignite the passion for football and also the spirit of competition amongst our youth at the secondary school level,” Dare told Goal.
“Unlike in the past when you see the government do it solely, we have now evolved a public-private model. This is a partnership model that is sustainable and that’s why all the critical stakeholders are on this team, so, it doesn’t matter whether I am a minister or not.
“We’ve seen what has happened to our grassroots development, our talent basket has diminished over the last 15 years and Principal’s Cup is the factory to produce football stars.”
Aside from Dosu and Amokachi, Segun Odegbami, Tarila Okoronwata, Stephen Keshi, Henry Nwosu and Samson Siasia are among several former Super Eagles stars discovered from the Principal’s Cup.
Fosla Academy, Abuja are the reigning champions of the National Principal’s Cup. They defeated Christ Comprehensive College, Kaduna 2-0 in the final played on March 30, 2021, at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.