Olamide Adeyemo, the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Page Sports and Entertainment, on Friday, said that the competition was on the threshold of producing more of ex-international, in the likes of Segun Odegbami for the development of football in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that Page Sports and Entertainment are the organisers of the Higher Institution Football League (HiFL) a competitive league among the higher institution in Nigeria.
Adeyemo in an interview with NAN on the sidelines of the press briefing to herald the Super 4 finals of the HiFL said that products from the league were making waves in the professional league. The HiFL will be climaxed on Friday with the final match between University of Calabar and University of Agriculture Markurdi.
Also, the three-month-old league will have a third-place match between Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and the University of Ilorin. Adeyemo said that the competition had already provided the platform for the players to latch onto for a better footballing career along their blossoming educational pursuit.
“While in the past, many talked about Segun Odegbami, but now, we can as well count more professionals that are products of this league playing the in Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
“We have names such as Emmanuel Ogbole, Ebuka Odenigbo, Ani Imade and the rest of them already playing professional football. “This has been achieved in less than a year and we already have some of the biggest names in Nigeria’s football. I believe other things will fall in places,” he said.
Adeyemo said that the competition now in its second edition was on course to develop football in the higher institution and also bring back the memories of elite football.
“The competition is getting bigger, bolder and better every year. We are on course to delivering to Nigeria the best of higher institution football competition.
“As it stands now, HiFL is the biggest collegiate sports in Africa because other leagues are just like eight or six-team leagues. “The brand of HiFL is beginning to have impacts on the development of football in our higher institution because when we started we had only 16 teams, but we have seen it grown to 32 teams.
“Also for us, it is not only for expanding the scope of the competition but also building a sustainable brand, a quality assurance and of course the best to the stakeholders,” he noted.
Adeyemo said that part of the gains of the league in the development of football in the higher institutions was the partnerships with the Premiership Club giant, Manchester City FC which provided technical support.
“Part of the gains is the partnerships with the Manchester City FC that provided coaching clinic and the partnerships from the La Liga. This is our commitments to the development of football in Nigeria,” he said.
NAN reports that the final of the HiFL between University of Calabar and the University of Agriculture Markurdi will be played on Saturday at Agege Stadium at 3 p.m. The Third Place match between the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and the University of Ilorin, Ilorin will also take place at the same venue at 12.p.m.