The maiden edition of KIFA National Challenge Cup came to a very exciting end Thursday, with KIFA Lagos emerging as champions, after defeating KIFA South-West 3-1 via penalties after a pulsating 3-3 draw at regulations time.
The 4-day football tournament which was held at Remo Stars stadium, Ikenne, featured 8 teams representing various KIFA zones. And expectedly, it brought to the fore, the creativity and ingenuity of KIFA and its foremost position as Nigeria and Africa’s largest football academy.
Heading into the competition, the management of KIFA came up with the innovation of awarding two goals for every free kick scored directedly from outside the box. And this new rule proved decisive in the final match as KIFA Lagos, trailing 1-3 to KIFA South-West, became the beneficiary as it levelled scores to 3-3 after scoring a direct free kick at the death of the game.
Speaking during the competition, an obviously excited Prince Dapo Ajibade, who is the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of KIFA, expressed his happiness on the success of the football fiesta.
The former Chairman of Sunshine Stars and Ondo State Football Agency, further remarked that KIFA is on the right path to changing the narratives of youth football development in Nigeria and Africa.
On the introduction of the new free-kick rule, he said, ” KIFA is bent on helping to produce top quality footballers. Awarding two goals for every free kick scored directedly, we believe this idea would help develop and produce great free-kick scorers among the teeming young Nigerian footballers.
” I am very delighted that the idea worked perfectly for one of the teams. Other benefits of the rule include technical, tactical, mental and physical discipline on the parts of the players and their officials,” the highly-renowned football administrator stated gleefully.