Francis Ajuonuma, Lagos
Organisers of the 2019 All Stars Football Tournament have warned players and officials of all the participating teams to play by the rules of the competition or risk being sanctioned.
Technical Director of the tournament, Taiwo Oloyede gave the warning at the draw ceremony held at the weekend with almost all the 20 participating teams in attendance.
According to the former Stationery Stores and Julius Berger player, the tournament is strictly for former Nigerian players, who must be 40 year-old or above and are expected to exhibit the highest level of discipline in the tournament to upcoming Nigerian players.
“We’re excited to once again stage this tournament. This is the 4th and we’re determined to make it a huge success. So we’re urging all the 20 teams in this year’s edition of All Star Football Tournament to exhibit high level of discipline and play by the rules of the tournament. Any team or official that go contrary to the rules of the competition will be punished according. The tournament kicks off first week of November at the NPA Sports complex, Sulurere, Lagos,” he said.
Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Sunny Epochi, while speaking at the draws ceremony, noted that the tournament which is being bankrolled by Premier Lotto and supported by Nigerian Breweries PLC has come a long way as platform where Nigerian ex-internationals and players meet to fraternise.
“I want to use this opportunity to appreciate Premier Lotto for making this tournament possible and also Nigeria Breweries for its’ support as well,” stated the former IICC(3SC) and defunct Leventis Utd player.
In the draws, defending champions, Oregun All Stars, who will open their title campaign against Ilupeju All Stars in Group A, will also keep a date with Portsmouth, Olympics and LASU All Stars. In Group B are Firm All Stars, Apapa Ijora All Stars, Euro 65 All Stars, Bungalow All Stars and Ipaja/Ayobo All Stars.
Last year semifinalists, St. Mary’s All Stars are drawn in Group C where they will face Ojota All Stars, Maracana All Stars, Olusosun All Stars and Loco All Stars, while Group D will feature Pako All Stars, Oworo All Stars, Apapa Iganmu All Stars, NPA All Stars and Bariga All Stars.