Apart from winning the sum of N1 million, Obanor also won for himself a brand new GAC car and will also be representing Nigeria at the World Super Ball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
History was made in Lagos at the weekend as McCarthy Obanor emerged the winner of the first edition of the Nigeria National Freestyle Championship, accredited by the World Federation of Freestyle Football. Apart from winning the sum of N1 million, Obanor also won for himself a brand new GAC car and will also be representing Nigeria at the World Super Ball Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
Obanor defeated 15 other contestants in the hotly contested men’s final, which clearly displayed increasing talent in the sporting industry and in the country. He defeated Mayowa Bababunmi, a medical doctor, to clinch the coveted prize.
In the female category, Rasheedat Ajibade, the captain of Nigeria’s Under-17 Women National Team, clinched the title, winning the sum of N1 million. Ajibade, a professional footballer, defeated Chidinma Okeke, another professional footballer, in another hotly contested final.
Apart from the winners, the final four were rewarded with cash prizes starting from the fourth position, who both went home with N250,000 each in the men and women’s events. Third place finishers were rewarded with N500,000 each and the first runners-up got N750,000 each.
The chairman, Feet ‘n’ Tricks International, organisers of the event, Valentine Ozigbo, promised a better outing in 2018. Ozigbo said: “We are glad to have celebrated our home-grown freestylers in an extraordinary fashion, breaking a number of records from the most active participation of womenfolk in the competition of quality and volume of prizes to world class ambience down to the richness and diversity of judging panel.
“We have succeeded in creating role models for many other youths on this street as through this medium our youth will see in freestyling an opportunity to live a good life, build career, pursue their passion and pursue other goals in life.” Ozigbo used the occasion to appreciate all those who supported the competition, promising a better competition in 2018 and beyond
He said: “Apart from those that supported us this year like GAC Motors, FIRS, Five Star Music, VFD Group, all the media houses and others who in one way or other supported us, there were so many others who because of time constraint could not come on board, so we are expecting them next year.
“It is going to be bigger and better next year “We are going to be working with all that were part of this year’s and more others that will be joining us.”
To demonstrate Freestyle Football as entertainment, the packed audience at Ikeja City Mall were entertained by the best of Nigerian musical artists, including Kcee, Timaya, Kaffy, Skiibii, Soma, Abiodun Koya and many others.
The event was also witnessed by top personalities in sport, entertainment and business, including the football legend, Kanu Nwankwo; the Vice President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi; the 2014 European Champion and one of the Top 8 freestylers in the World, Daniel Mikolajek; and the President and Founder of the World Federation of Freestyle Football, Daniel Wood.