Jos Chillin'Twitter/Mees Palace

Jos Chillin’ Cup a right step for Nigerian football, says Emmanuel Adukwu

Grassroots exponent Emmanuel Adukwu believes the future of Nigeria is bright if the Jos Chillin’ Cup continues to hold sway.

The third edition of the tournament sanctioned by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) commences on Monday with teams across six states of the federation competing for honours in the U13 and U15 categories.

In 2019, Jos Chillin’ was rated as one of the best grassroots football championships across Africa owing to its level of organisation, the standard of play and zero-tolerance against age cheats.

With Nigeria’s ousting at the 2019 U17 Fifa World Cup Brazil and the U20s' failure to qualify for the 2021 U20 Afcon owing to a failed Wafu U20 Zone B campaign, Adukwu – host of the competition – says the country’s future in the beautiful game looks positive with this kind of age-grade contest.

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“The Jos Chillin’ tournament has predominantly been about teams from Jos. However, for this year’s edition, we have teams coming from all the geo-political zones in the country: Delta, Bauchi, Ekiti, Gombe and the Federal Capital Territory,” Adukwu told Goal.

“We expect to see fully a national U13 and U15 tournament which bring about an opportunity to scout genuine talents in these age grade categories for Nigeria.

“The future of football in Nigeria is very bright because we now have more individuals coming out to do the right things. The more we are, the merrier and the better football in Nigeria can get.

“As long as we continue to expose these children at the right ages, at the right time, to the right techniques in the right conditions, then the national team of Nigeria, our club football and our league can only be better for it.”

In the U15 category, Ekiti Baby Bees will lock horns with Pepsi FA, Mees Palace Academy, Abuja and Bauchi in Group A, while Delta Warriors, City Rollers, St. Monica and Gombe United battle for a place in the semi-final in Group B.

Whereas in the U13 event, Mees Palace, Ekiti Baby Bees, Tuffray Academy and Heartland Bauchi are zoned in Group A, while Jazzy Stars, Delta Warriors and Liverpool make up Group B.

The final of the 2020 Jos Chillin’ Cup takes place on December 20 at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos, with Mees Palace Football Academy the defending champions of the U13 and U15 categories.