Organisers of the Mike Okonkwo football competition have revealed that 72 teams are participating in the 17th edition of the championship, which kicked off at the NIS pitch of the National Stadium, Lagos at the weekend.
The grassroots football tournament, which is organised by the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), will end on August 31. It has 64 male and eight female teams competing for honours in the championship.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the championship, LOC chairman, Malachy Ndubuzor said the tournament is being used to spread the gospel to youths and also give them the platform to exhibit their skills.
“The Mike Okonkwo tournament has come to stay. Over the past editions, talents discovered in the tournament have taken their skills to the international arena.
“Our vision is to help youths be more focused in their career and imbibe good character as they grow. We used strict measures to register the clubs participating in the tournament to avoid any anomalies.”
He revealed that the defending champions had been disqualified from the championship because they registered late, adding, “we are determined to instill discipline and good conduct to the clubs.”
He revealed that the championship is open to any club, including Muslim teams, it is open to all youths no mater their religion.
In the first game of the championship, Maryland FC battled Adenusi FC.