12 Clubs Battle For COFP Soccer For Peace Trophy In Abuja
By Aiyeku Timothy
A total of 12 female clubs today began their quest to win the 3rd edition of Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) Soccer Tournament in Abuja, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report.
COFPExecutive Director, Sr. Agatha Chikelue performed the ceremonial kickoff on behalf of His Emienece, John Cardinal Onayinkan, the retired Catholic Archbishop of Abuja who established the foundation
This year’s edition is unique as it is a departure from the exiting norm whereby only male team play in the competition.
The 3rd edition has 12 clubs across the country, confirmed to compete at the Papa’s Ground, Kubwa Express Road, Abuja.
Shortly after the ceremonial kickoff, Sr. Agatha Chikelue explained why only female teams were paraded in this edition and the significance of the competition.
Establishing the fact that the 2020 edition is the 3rd in it’s history, the ED, COFP Foundation noted that “We have come to realize that football is one of the instruments to promote peace not only in Nigeria but all over the world. Because whenever there is a soccer match we see how united people are.
“The entire team has a common goal and target which is to win. Even though football for us at COFP is for teams to display their best. It is not a matter of win or lose, no. It is about teams displaying their best and if we can display that best on the field, we want to display that best and unity outside the pitch and this is where the issue of peace comes in, which is the work we do.” She stated.
Meanwhile, Sr. Chikelue explained that the decision to field female teams in this year’s edition is to encourage women to be part of the peace initiative by carrying them along.
Her words “COFP is a kind of foundation that is very gender sensitive. The first and second editions of the tournament were all male football so this time around, we decided to balance it by fielding females because we know that ladies are into football and they are doing it well. So it will be an opportunity to encourage more young girls to come out for that and above all, we feel that if we are talking about peace, everybody must be involved, it shouldn’t just be about men alone.
“Women should be involved because we all have roles to play and are all involved . that is the reason why we fell it is very important to bring in women as peace building” she ended.