By Georgina Adegbie
The Para-soccer Federation of Nigeria (PFN), said on Tuesday that Abuja would host the second edition of National Para-soccer League from April 6 to April 18.
The president of the federation, Misbahu Lawn Didi, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja.
The federation was established in 1996 to promote the sport of Para soccer in Nigeria. The Para soccer game was introduced in 1988 in Nigeria.
The federation seeks the professional support of media in covering the second edition of the National Para soccer league tagged: ‘’Abuja 2017’’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the second edition of National Para soccer League will commence on April 6 to April 18 in two different venues.
Morning matches will hold at the Handball training Court Package B of the National stadium, while the evening matches will hold at the Old parade ground, Area 10.
The opening ceremony will hold on April 6 while the closing ceremony will hold on April 18 at the old parade ground, Abuja.
Meanwhile, Umar Jimba, Assistant Coach, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Para-Soccer team, says the team is prepared to contest in the 2017 Para-soccer League Cup if sponsored by the FCT authority.
Jimba told NAN the game which is developed in Nigeria, is played by persons with lower limb paralysis, and is aspiring for international acceptance as a sport for people with such physical challenge.
According to him, the team has been invited for the league and the players have been training while awaiting sponsorship from FCT Sports Directorate.
“We are invited for the league and we have forwarded the invitation to FCT Sports Directorate for sponsorship, but we have been training while waiting for the approval.
“We are ready to represent FCT, but our plan for the league will have to come from the FCT Sports Directorate,’’ Jimba said.
The coach added that the team had been winning medals in every competition it attended.
Jimba said, “para-soccer is a very interesting game to players and spectators.”
“Whenever there is any para-soccer game or even training, it draws a huge crowd.”
“If the Federal Government, through the National Sports Commission is able to register the game as a sport for the National Sports Festival, para-soccer will enjoy global exposure.”
“Since it was developed, it had been helping the physically challenged people to be positively engaged. If it gets accepted as an international sport, it will add to Nigeria’s profile as originator of an international sport,” he said.
Jimba called on governments at all levels, corporate organisations and philanthropists to invest in the game so that they could reduce street begging among the physically challenged people.
Similarly, Shehu Bello, Assistant Captain, FCT Para-soccer said: “The game is helping us to be healthy, anytime I train, I feel very strong and healthy.”
“I urge those of us that are strong to engage in sports, while those that don’t have the strength should be encouraged to go to school or go into business,” he said.