Less than sixty days to the commencement of the 9th edition of the Homeless World Cup to be held in the city of Paris, August 21 – 28 2011, plans have been finalized by the organizers of the Nigerian team, to give a befitting posthumous recognition to Late Super Eagle’s right back and Ambassador of the Nigerian team– Olubayo Adefemi.
Officials of Search and Groom led by its Executive Director, Yomi Kuku, had a private meeting with the Adefemi family led by Mr Adetunji Adefemi and Mr Biodun Adefemi. The outcome of the meeting includes the unveiling of the Nigerian National street soccer team jersey to the Homeless World Cup which will bear Olubayo’s portrait on the arm to be unveiled at a media event alongside a specially designed casual wear with his giant portrait before the team departs for Paris.
Mr Kuku confirmed that the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Olubayo’s Super Eagles and Xanthi Skoda team officials and mates will be communicated to in the coming days to seek their inputs and support. In his reaction during the meeting, Mr Adetunji Adefemi thanked the Search and Groom team for its relentless pursuance of the dream of the family’s late son; Olubayo, promising to abide by the agreement Olubayo had with the organization before his untimely death.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Homeless World Cup team will commence the second phase of their training programme at the AstroTurf2000, Osborne road, Ikoyi, Lagos under the supervision of head Coach Ndubisi Duruna, assistants Olumide Ajayi and Adeyinka Adejuwon. The invited team comprised of players selected and shortlisted from the annual Street Soccer League Cup organized by Search and Groom Youth for development Centre; official selectors of Nigeria’s National street soccer team, a social project based in Lagos with a commitment to rehabilitating indigent people.
Thirteen players have been shortlisted for the final phase of preparation ahead the renowned World Street Soccer Championship. They includeKujenya Ibrahim, Afolabi Michael, Adebiyi Sunday, Okafor Uzoma, Abubakar Haruna, Adekunle Peter, Ogundimu Oluwaseun, Uzoka Amaechi, Chukwu Emmanuel, Olujide Opeoluwa and Aliu Sulaiman. Two guest players from Olubayo Adefemi’s social project being implemented at Myoung Barracks, Yaba Lagos, will complete the list.
The players are to report to the Astroturf 2000 on July 11, 2011 for a comprehensive one month final lap of training from where a final eight-man playing staff will be handed flight tickets to Paris, France.
The Homeless World Cup is a platform for social integration through football and creates fresh, inventive solutions to end homelessness and poverty worldwide. Nigeria has participated in four previous editions of the global tournament: Cape Town 2006 (South Africa), Copenhagen 2007 (Denmark), Melbourne 2008 (Australia) and Milan 2009(Italy). Nigeria played in the semi final at the Milan 2009 tournament and also got a UEFA Fair play award to cap a glorious outing.