Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team captain, Neymar da Silva Júnior, has sent a solidarity message to his friend in Nigeria, Teslim Usman, a member of national 5-aside team who had participated in Neymar’s Redbull 5-Aside Tournament in Brazil in 2019 to endorse the Babates 5-Aside Tournament slated for Ibadan.
Neymar in a voice-note message sent over the weekend on the social media handle of Teslim Usman urged his friend to do everything to make the 5-aside soccer popular in Nigeria. He however promised to attend the subsequent edition of the tournament if it didn’t clash with his official football schedules.
The football event tagged Babates 5-Aside which will hold in collaboration with Oyo State Ministry of Youths and Sports according to Chairman/Founder Babates Empire, Teslim Usman, has picked May 15 to June 13 for the event.
64 teams are expected to participate in the tournament slated for the football pitch of Oke-Ibadan Boys High School and it is open to any 5-Aside team anywhere in the country according to the Coordinator, Ayo Fadele who said registration of teams will close in a week’s time. While explaining the rationale behind the soccer tournament, Teslim said: “We’re yet to fully embrace 5-aside football in Nigeria, we only play the conventional 11-aside and as a pioneer member of the national 5-aside team and only Nigerian to have represented the country in two major international 5-aside competitions, the think we should give back the society that produced us”.
He added that “I think I should make an effort to create awareness for 5-aside in Oyo State and Nigeria as whole.”