Lagos - Airtel Telecommunication, on Sunday in Lagos unveiled the five most outstanding youngsters discovered at the just-concluded national finals of Airtel Rising Stars Season 2, U-17 tournament for boys and girls.
The players are Ibrahim Benjamin, Best Goalkeeper; Yakubu Gambo, Most Valuable Player and Bilyaminu Sani, Golden Boot winner in the male category.
Others are Gift Nevo, Best Goal keeper and Rafiat Aweda, Most Valuable Player and the Golden Boot winner in the female category.
The players were unveiled at a ceremony to welcome three senior Arsenal players, Bacari Sagna, Per Merteserker and Lukas Podolski, who were on Airtel partnership visit to the country
The partnership with Arsenal is part of Airtel’s plans to develop grassroots football in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Olu Akanmu, the Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Telecommunications, described the partnership with Arsenal as the best opportunity to develop grassroots football in the country.
``It has always been our dream to create a future for our younger generation. Now, the prospect of this is looking more promising than ever with the Airtel Rising Stars programme.
``We will continue to commit, as the leading telecoms operator, in creating and providing Nigerian youngsters with ample opportunities to succeed in their professional careers and respective endeavors,” he said.
Akanmu said the five youngsters will join their counterparts from other African countries in London later in the year, for a residential Arsenal International Coaching Clinic sponsored by Airtel Africa.
He said that during the clinic, Arsenal would provide UEFA-certified coaches to assist in providing technical supervision, mentorship, and general football skills development to the youngsters.
The partnership commits Arsenal to offering technical support to the Airtel Rising Stars pan-African football initiative in five countries.
They are Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda.