Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi state is set to host the 2022 Beach Soccer Final Tournament that would kick start on Friday 7th to the 9th of October 2022 at the Sani Abacha bye pass road, Filin Sukuwa Stadium Birnin Kebbi.
Briefing newsmen in Birnin Kebbi as part of the activities, the State Coordinator of the Tournament, Mahmud Hadejia, said four teams are expected from Lagos, Kaduna, and Kebbi to participate in the 3-day beach soccer games.
According to him, two games are expected to be played every day starting from Friday, Oct 7th before the final encounter between the Lagos team and defending champion, the Kebbi Fishers on Sunday, Oct 9th.
Hadejia also explained that the beach soccer tournament was first held in Ilorin featuring 10 teams cutting across states in the country. The second round of the tournament was later played in Lagos in the month of May.
He also said the 2022 season finals were initially billed to hold in Kaduna but were moved to Kebbi due to logistics problems and excessive rainfall.
While commending Kebbi State Government for the continued support it has been giving to beach soccer since it started in 2015. He said this has made the state’s team the number one in Nigeria and in Africa.
He also appreciates partners like WACOT Rice, MedicAid, Red Cross, and African soccer leagues, nothing that beach soccer league is very important to Nigeria, and the only way to grow the game and the players are to continue to support the game” he added.
FIFA Technical Adviser on Beach Soccer, Sunday Okhai in his remarks said the story of the beach soccer tournament in Nigeria will not be completed without mentioning Kebbi State, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, and Mahmud Hadeja because of their enormous contributions to its growth, FIFA ranking and height the country has achieved in beach soccer in Africa and world at large.
In his response, the State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports and Youths Development, Alhaji Shaibu Aliero said the Kebbi team has been defending champion and number one in Nigeria and Africa. He said it’s the expectation of the state government that the team maintains its position in the tournament.
Meanwhile, 10 world-rated international players are expected to feature in the soccer event. And the team with the highest point is expected to emerge winner at the beach soccer tournament.