La Liga, the Spanish professional football league managers, have announced the 2023 edition of the U-15 youth league tournament in partnership with MTN Nigeria, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
The tournament officially kicked off on Thursday 13 April, 2023, after a press briefing at the Remo Stars stadium in Ikenne, Ogun State. The U-15 tournament will feature 16 teams showcasing the sport’s best and brightest young talent.
Harry Iwuala, head of communications, NPFL, stated that the tournament provides an opportunity to further invest in and develop grassroots football in Nigeria. According to him, TheU-15 tournament promises to be one of the most exciting sporting events of the year, with 16 youth football teams from across the country competing for a month to be crowned champions.
“The philosophy behind this tournament is the same as the philosophy behind every global youth football development program: find tomorrow’s professionals today and hone their skills to become tomorrow’s professionals. We are excited to see how this tournament has grown over the years. We will continue to improve the tournament and be a true platform for developing football in Nigeria,” Iwuala stated.
Adia Sowho, chief marketing officer, MTN Nigeria, reiterated the telecommunications company’s commitment to the development of grassroots football in Nigeria. According to her, MTN is committed to the growth of sports in Nigeria, with a particular focus on grassroots football.
“We are partnering with the NPFL and La-Liga for the U-15 Promise Youth League because we believe there are many undiscovered raw talents out there waiting to be discovered, and this is the right platform to help them reach their full potential. We remain committed to the development of football in Nigeria because we believe that this is Naija where football lives.
“At MTN, we believe everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life, and we bring this to light by becoming an enabler of these young Nigerians’ dreams and aspirations,” stated Sowho, who was represented by Njide Ken-Odogwu, manager, sponsorship and promotion, MTN Nigeria.
The U-15 tournament ensures that Nigerian youth football receives ongoing local and international exposure, as well as capacity building for players and coaching talent, all of which contribute to the advancement of developmental football in the country.
Mutiu Adepoju, La Liga Global Ambassador for Nigeria, stated that the tournament is critical for identifying future football players in the country. “Since 2016, La Liga has supported the development of football in Nigeria because we recognize how much talent exists in the country, and with more tournaments like this, we will be able to do more than we are currently doing. We will continue to offer support in ensuring that Nigerian football thrives.”
In addition to the competition on the field, the tournament will include a one-week coaching seminar where seasoned La Liga coaches will interact with their local counterparts on modern youth coaching techniques. The seminar will benefit over sixty NPFL coaches, national team coaches, and other youth coaches from across the country.