From Sam Ade, Abuja
The maiden edition of Lagos International Football Tournament (LIFT) will now hold from September 5th -8th, 2013, the organizers have announced.
LIFT is an annual football fiesta designed to promote and enhance the quality of the game of soccer both in terms of strategic management, organization and tactical implementation of policies and programmes in Nigeria and globally.
Ex-Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju who is the initiator explained in Lagos on Monday on why they have to postpone the prgramme.
He said in a statement, “It has become very necessary to postpone the tournament which was earlier scheduled for July 25 to 28th to September 5th through 8th, to allow our Muslim brothers in the participating teams observe the month of Ramadan which kicks-off 7th July and ends August 6th.
“We are very sensitive to issue like this, so we have no choice than to respect the right of our Muslim brothers who are training hard a head of the tournament”.
Speaking in the same vein, Seyi Akinwunmi, Chairman, Lagos State Football Association said, the postponement was inevitable in view of the fact that, July has suddenly become very busy for the Lagos FA.
His words, “Apart from the fact that the Ramadan is coming up in the month of July, the Federation Cup is also coming at the-same period, with the Lagos State as the host of the two tournaments, we definitely have to re-schedule one of the events. So after a meeting of all stakeholders, it was unanimously agreed that the best period after July is to target the FIFA Free Week, which runs from 6th -10th of September”.
In his remarks on the new development, the Lagos State Commissioner for Sports & Youth Development, Waid Enitan Oshodi said the most important thing as far as the Lagos State Government was concerned is the success of the tournament.
“This is the first time this is happening in Nigeria, and the Lagos Government is ready to host the teams. If the postponement will translate to good organization and overall success of the tourney, the Lagos State Government is in full support.
“Let me tell you, from day one, the Governor of Lagos State has pledged his support for the tournament, not only for this year, but for the subsequent editions. We must all work together to make the first edition a success, with this, the next edition will be a piece of cake” he said.