From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A Non-Governmental Organisation, NEXT2NONE Support Initiative, will on May 21 this year drag world stars like Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Ronaldinho Gaucho among others to Abuja to confront Africa stars like Jay-Jay Okocha, Kanu Nwankwo, Samuel Eto’o, George Weah for a novelty football match to create awareness on the menace of terrorism and human trafficking.
The BoT chairman of the Support Initiative project, Ndukwe Sam, who made the disclosure during a media parley in Abuja at the weekend, said they had secured the approval of the World Soccer ruling body, FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, NAPTIP, the world stars and other stakeholders for the soccer encounter this year.
While revealing that the project is tagged Africa my Africa, Nigerian-born soccer star and project coordinator, John Fashanu, described the initiative as a campaign against human trafficking, insurgence and terrorism through football which speaks the language of love, peace, hope and unity, stressing that the international stars will battle Africa stars in the highly entertaining encounter.
According to Ndukwe; “Football, as a global accepted sports which provides a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence and leadership teaches core principles such as tolerance, cooperation and respect. It also teaches the value of effort and how to manage victory, as well as defeat.
“With the support and backing of the FIFA president, Ministry of Youth and Sports and the NFF, this exciting event will be held on Sunday May 21, 2017 at the Mainbowl of the Abuja National Stadium and it is expected to feature ex and active international soccer stars.”
“Stars like Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ruud Gulit, Ronaldinho Gaucho, George Weah, Samuel Eto, John Kuffur, Abedi Pele Ayew, Lionel Messi, Christiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, among many others.
“Women footballers will not also be left out of the exciting event as world female footballers like Sydney Leroux, Corine Petit, Julia Simic, Lauren Sesselmann, Lydia Nayehi Rangel, Anouk Hoogendik, Toni Duggan, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Sun Wen, Abby Wambach, Homare Sawa, Kelly Smith and Asisat Oshoala.