Whilst football fans in England this weekend watched the World Cup friendly match between England and Nigeria’s Super Eagles, fans in Abuja were treated to their own footballing experience. Teams from the British military, Nigerian military and diplomats tested their skills against former Super Eagles and Falcons players in a breathtaking football tournament organised by the British High Commission Nigeria.
Taking advantage of the friendly match at Wembley, the British High Commission organised a programme of activity to demonstrate the inclusivity of sport.
As part of the programme, the Super Eagles legends and officials from the British High Commission visited children from local communities, taking football to the grassroots. The teams met children and teachers from Government Secondary School, Kuje, a school of inclusivity for children with disabilities as well as visiting a local orphanage.
The children were delighted to meet their legends and receive English football kit, donated by the British Royal Air Force “Taking football to Africa and beyond” appeal.
Joseph Yobo, former Super Eagles Captain and Everton defender was blown away by the experience telling the children that “football has a universal language and with hard work, dedication and the right support nothing should stop them from enjoying the game.”
The children were thrilled by the opportunity to play with their heroes.
Last week, before the Super Eagles left Nigeria for their final World Cup preparations, the British High Commission took Leon Balogun and William Ekong-Troost to Government Secondary School Port Harcourt. Members from the British military have also gifted kit to children living in IDP camps in the North East of Nigeria. Deputy High Commissioner said “football is a sport for everyone and that we should try to translate to everything we do.
In education, the work place and politics – everyone should be given equal opportunities to participate.”
The UK is committed to youth development, through it’s UK aid, Chevening and Commonwealth programmes.
The RAF ‘Taking Football to Africa and Beyond’ appeal was set up in 2006 and collects unwanted or donated football shirts from UK clubs and sends them to Africa.