National qualifiers for the 2017 Football Fives World Championship will begin across the country in November through December this year.
Organisers of the event in Nigeria informed in Lagos yesterday that next year’s edition would be the biggest, in terms of team participation and nationwide reach as the Local Organising Committee is ready to take the qualifiers to almost all the states in the country.
Speaking at the pre-event press conference in Lagos, Technical Director, Shamshudeen Yusuf said the event was aimed at developing sports in Nigeria and to give budding players a platform to express themselves.
He further said that their goal was to reach out and help those players who are not fortunate enough to play overseas.
According to the programme released by the LOC, there will be zonal qualifiers in 6 zones. Zone 1 comprises Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory.
Zone 2 will see Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States compete among each other.
In Zone 3, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara will lock horns while Zone 4 has Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo. Akwa Ibom, Cros River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Edo will slug it out in Zone 5. Zone 6 has Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo complete Zone 6.
After the zonal qualifiers, a three-day national final comprising 32 teams will be held in a yet-to be named city. The teams would be placed in 8 groups of four teams each.
The overall winning team will automatically qualify for the World Championship in Beijing, China in May next year.