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Fashola charges NFF to return Federation Cup glory, tradition

Published by Guardian on Tue, 17 Jul 2012

THE glory and tradition synonymous with the prestigious Federation Cup (former Challenge Cup) became the kernel of the address by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State during the unveiling and handing over of the new trophy he donated for this year's championship.Fashola recollected the glamour attached to the championship, which he said had churned out great players for the country. The governor was particularly concerned with the large turnout of fans at the stadium whenever the competition held'I am disturbed when I saw scanty stadium during the final of the Federation Cup,' he said. 'The Federation Cup is a championship that has rich history and has produced great players like Muyiwa Oshode, Haruna Ilerika, Kenneth and Olayombo, among others. It has also propelled Nigeria to greatness.'I want to also suggest that the tourney should not leave Lagos because it is a tournament that started in Lagos. In England, Wembley started hosting the final of the FA Cup and the only period the competition was not played at Wembley was when it was been reconstructed.'Players like Wayne Rooney are still yearning to win the FA Cup despite the series of laurels he had won. There is a tradition around the competition and we must rekindle the competition around the tournament.'He added: 'We must bring back the tradition associated with the competition by ensuring that fans return to the stadium and add value to the championship, because sports also contributes to the economy just like other sectors.'In his remarks, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, thanked the governor for his support, while assuring that the competition would remain in Lagos.Maigari said: 'I want to thank the governor for his unalloyed support to the NFF and, Lagos being the hub of football in Nigeria, I want to assure you that the Federation Cup will not leave Lagos. This year's final holding on August 26 will be the most colourful in the history of the championship.'Fashola later handed over a silver trophy, which is a replica of the English FA Cup, to the NFF.
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