The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to the postponement and even outright cancellation of a lot of sporting events across the world.
However, the annual African Freestyle Football Championships will not be affected following the new format adopted by the organisers; Feet ‘N’ Tricks International.
Tagged UNLOCKED Africa 2020 championship, Valentine Ozigbo, the Chairman of Feet ‘N’ Tricks International explained to journalists during a virtual press conference on Tuesday the modalities which the 2020 African Freestyle Football Championships will take.
Mr Ozigbo revealed that the championship is going to be online and packed with prizes and surprises to “develop and nurture an art, a lifestyle, and a passion for many”.
While noting that the world was going through a difficult time owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Ozigbo explained that his passion for the development of the freestyle genre of football spurred him to find a way past the pandemic in order to continue a tradition which had become his passion.
He further stated that while most other sports had shut or scaled-down, freestyle football can go on very easily in a non-contact manner to respect the physical distancing rules.
Daniel Woods, co-founder of the World Freestyle Football Association who was also part of Tuesday’s session thanked Mr Ozigbo for seeing beyond the despair and helplessness in the world to hope and opportunities using virtual means.
Wood stated that the global lockdown caused a lull in global sporting activities but expressed gratitude to Mr Valentine and his team at Feet ‘N” Tricks for not “letting freestyle football die”.
On his part, the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, said he viewed the upcoming event as an opportunity for youths to be gainfully occupied in a period where sporting activities had been paused by most countries.
Giving a breakdown of the mechanics for the event, Mr Ozigbo explained that just like previous editions, the competition is designed for inclusiveness and will have male and female competitors battling for daily $50, $30 and $20 cash prizes in the People’s Choice category.
While the Judges Choice category, in the last week of the contest, will see freestyle footballers compete for the $1000 grand prize. There are other prizes of $750, $500, $250, and $150 for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place winners. A total of $6,300 will be given out in cash prizes.
Mr Ozigbo called on well-meaning sponsors and sports-lovers alike to seize this chance to push forward a culture that can rally people and foster unity and oneness.
The Freestyle UNLOCKED Africa 2020 is the fourth instalment of the annual football freestyle event.
It would get underway on Wednesday, July 1 with the grand finale set to hold on Monday, July 20, 2020.