Let's Kick Racism out of football.
League One side Portsmouth are teaming up with the Sodje Sports
Foundation (SSF) to take an Academy team to Nigeria next week to compete
in a new six-a-side tournament.
Six of the club’s second-year
apprentices, led by Academy manager Andy Awford, have been invited by
the SSF, a charity set-up by the famous footballing brothers, to take
part in the Eko Football Festival in Lagos.
Pompey, who will be
the only representatives from Europe, will leave on September 24 for six
days with Soccerex, the Lagos authorities and Arik Air covering the
cost of travel and accommodation.
Looking ahead to the trip,
Awford said: “If we win the cup then great but I am not going for that
reason. This is about our lads being given the opportunity to experience
another culture and another country and all the benefits that go with
“There are affluent areas in that part of the world and we
will see some underprivileged ones as well, so it will be a great
experience for us all. We haven’t got a match on the Saturday so are not
going to miss any games. It comes at a good time for our second-year
“I would also like to stress that this club is not
spending a penny – it is entirely funded by the hosts. For that we owe
them a massive thanks, firstly for inviting us and then making it a
possibility through funding. The Lagos state government has our thanks,
along with others who have helped make this possible.”
Akinwunmi, Lagos State FA chairman, commented: “We at the Lagos State
Football Association are extremely pleased that the Portsmouth FC
Academy has accepted our invitation to participate at our Eko Football
Festival 2012 Under 17 football tournament in Lagos. We are proud to be
associated with a team with such rich developmental pedigree and look
forward to their arrival.”