Three teams from Ghana and Niger Republic are to join those from Nigeria’s 36 states and FCT to compete for the 37th Ramat Cup.
The annual competition organised by Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) is scheduled for Kano from Jan. 11 to Jan. 19.
Nasiru Gawuna, the President of YSFON, said that the involvement of the three teams would help restore the competition’s international status.
“The participation of the three teams from Ghana and Niger Republic, is to restore the international status of the competition,’’ Gawuna, who is also the Deputy Governor of Kano State, said.
A statement released on Sunday by Patrick Okpavuerhe, YSFON’s National Secretary, quoted Wawuna as saying that the competition is in honour of Late Nigerian leader, Gen. Murtala Mohammed.
“Remembering through an international tournament the heroic attributes of one of the greatest leaders of this country, the late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed, who stood for justice and a better well-being of the citizens, is one way YSFON and the rest of us can keep his memory alive.
“It will keep him in the minds of many Nigerians who were alive and those not born while he lived.
“There is no time we as citizens of this great country will look back into our history and won’t remember the late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed who was killed on Feb. 13 of 1976 in a bloody coup.
“He was one leader we all miss. So, YSFON has continued to honour him with this competition for the past 37 years.
“This edition which will have teams from our neighbouring countries in attendance will be filled with a lot of activities,” Gawuna added.
Meanwhile, Okpavuerhe has explained that the competition was moved from its usual February dates to January because of the upcoming general elections in the country.
In a notice to all its state chapters and affiliated bodies in the 36 states and the FCT, he also said the champions of the various states should be their representatives.
“We will not tolerate the act of sending a selected side from any of the states.
“The states should complete their finals on or before Jan. 5, as the champions are expected to arrive Kano city by Jan. 11.
“The screening of participating players will hold the following day inside the Kano Pillars Stadium at Sabon Gari,’’ the YSFON National Secretary said.